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Mol Imaging. 2007 Mar-Apr;6(2):96-107.

Three-dimensional in vivo imaging of green fluorescent protein-expressing T cells in mice with noncontact fluorescence molecular tomography.

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  • 1Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Techinology Hellas, Heraklion Crete, Greece.


Given that optical tomography is capable of quantitatively imaging the distribution of several important chromophores and fluorophores in vivo, there has been a great deal of interest in developing optical imaging systems with increased numbers of measurements under optimal experimental conditions. In this article, we present a novel system that enables three-dimensional imaging of fluorescent probes in whole animals using a noncontact setup, in parallel with a three-dimensional surface reconstruction algorithm. This approach is directed toward the in vivo imaging of fluorophore or fluorescent protein concentration in small animals. The system consists of a rotating sample holder and a lens-coupled charge-coupled device camera in combination with a fiber-coupled laser scanning device. By measuring multiple projections, large data sets can be obtained, thus improving the accuracy of the inversion models used for quantitative three-dimensional reconstruction of fluorochrome distribution, as well as facilitating a higher spatial resolution. In this study, the system was applied to determining the distribution of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing T lymphocytes in a transgenic mouse model, thus demonstrating the potential of the system for studying immune system function. The technique was used to image and reconstruct fluorescence originating from 32 x 10(6) T cells in the thymus and 3 x 10(5) T cells in the spleen.

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