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Sensors (Basel). 2011;11(1):180-206. doi: 10.3390/s110100180. Epub 2010 Dec 28.

In vivo bioluminescent imaging (BLI): noninvasive visualization and interrogation of biological processes in living animals.

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  • 1The Center for Environmental Biotechnology, 676 Dabney Hall, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.


In vivo bioluminescent imaging (BLI) is increasingly being utilized as a method for modern biological research. This process, which involves the noninvasive interrogation of living animals using light emitted from luciferase-expressing bioreporter cells, has been applied to study a wide range of biomolecular functions such as gene function, drug discovery and development, cellular trafficking, protein-protein interactions, and especially tumorigenesis, cancer treatment, and disease progression. This article will review the various bioreporter/biosensor integrations of BLI and discuss how BLI is being applied towards a new visual understanding of biological processes within the living organism.


BLI; Luc; Lux; bacterial luciferase; bioluminescent imaging; firefly luciferase

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