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Med Phys. 2006 Jan;33(1):61-8.

Iterative reconstruction method for light emitting sources based on the diffusion equation.

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Advanced Radiological Sciences, Department of Radiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75390-9058, USA.


Bioluminescent imaging (BLI) of luciferase-expressing cells in live small animals is a powerful technique for investigating tumor growth, metastasis, and specific biological molecular events. Three-dimensional imaging would greatly enhance applications in biomedicine since light emitting cell populations could be unambiguously associated with specific organs or tissues. Any imaging approach must account for the main optical properties of biological tissue because light emission from a distribution of sources at depth is strongly attenuated due to optical absorption and scattering in tissue. Our image reconstruction method for interior sources is based on the deblurring expectation maximization method and takes into account both of these effects. To determine the boundary of the object we use the standard iterative algorithm-maximum likelihood reconstruction method with an external source of diffuse light. Depth-dependent corrections were included in the reconstruction procedure to obtain a quantitative measure of light intensity by using the diffusion equation for light transport in semi-infinite turbid media with extrapolated boundary conditions.

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