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J Biomed Opt. 2012 Apr;17(4):040506. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.4.040506.

Optimizing in vivo small animal Cerenkov luminescence imaging.

Erratum in

  • J Biomed Opt. 2012 May;17(5):059803.


In vivo Cerenkov luminescence imaging is a rapidly growing molecular imaging research field based on the detection of Cerenkov radiation induced by beta particles when traveling though biological tissues. We investigated theoretically the possibility of enhancing the number of the detected Cerenkov photons in the near infrared (NIR) region of the spectrum. The analysis is based on applying a photon propagation diffusion model to Cerenkov photons in the tissue. Results show that despite the smaller number of Cerenkov photons in the NIR region, the fraction exiting the tissues is greater than in the visible range, and thus, a charge-coupled device detector optimized for the NIR range will allow to obtain a higher signal. The comparison was performed considering Cerenkov point sources located at different depths inside the animal. We concluded that the improvement can be up to 35% and is more significant when the Cerenkov source to be imaged is located deeper inside the animal.

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