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Photochem Photobiol. 2005 Mar-Apr;81(2):215-37.

Molecular contrast optical coherence tomography: a review.

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Electrical Engineering Department, Engineering and Applied Sciences Division, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


This article reviews the current state of research on the use of molecular contrast agents in optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging techniques. After a brief discussion of the basic principle of OCT and the importance of incorporating molecular contrast agent usage into this imaging modality, we shall present an overview of the different molecular contrast OCT (MCOCT) methods that have been developed thus far. We will then discuss several important practical issues that define the possible range of contrast agent choice, the design criteria for engineered molecular contrast agent and the implementability of a given MCOCT method for clinical or biological applications. We will conclude by outlining a few areas of pursuit that deserve a greater degree of research and development.

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