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Eur Radiol. 2003 Feb;13(2):231-43. Epub 2002 Aug 13.

Optical-based molecular imaging: contrast agents and potential medical applications.

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Department of Clinical Radiology, University of Münster, Albert-Schweitzer-Strasse 33, 48129 Münster, Germany.


Laser- and sensitive charge-coupled device technology together with advanced mathematical modelling of photon propagation in tissue has prompted the development of novel optical imaging technologies. Fast surface-weighted imaging modalities, such as fluorescence reflectance imaging (FRI) and 3D quantitative fluorescence-mediated tomography have now become available [1, 2]. These technical advances are paralleled by a rapid development of a whole range of new optical contrasting strategies, which are designed to generate molecular contrast within a living organism. The combination of both, technical advances of light detection and the refinement of optical contrast media, finally yields a new spectrum of tools for in vivo molecular diagnostics. Whereas the technical aspects of optical imaging are covered in more detail in a previous review article in "European Radiology" [3], this article focuses on new developments in optical contrasting strategies and design of optical contrast agents for in vivo diagnostics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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