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Phys Med Biol. 2007 Sep 7;52(17):5415-28. Epub 2007 Aug 21.

Bioluminescence imaging of point sources implanted in small animals post mortem: evaluation of a method for estimating source strength and depth.

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Juravinski Cancer Centre and McMaster University, 699 Concession Street, Hamilton, ON L8V 5C2, Canada.


The performance of a simple approach for the in vivo reconstruction of bioluminescent point sources in small animals was evaluated. The method uses the diffusion approximation as a forward model of light propagation from a point source in a homogeneous tissue to find the source depth and power. The optical properties of the tissue are estimated from reflectance images obtained at the same location on the animal. It was possible to localize point sources implanted in mice, 2-8 mm deep, to within 1 mm. The same performance was achieved for sources implanted in rat abdomens when the effects of tissue surface curvature were eliminated. The source power was reconstructed within a factor of 2 of the true power for the given range of depths, even though the apparent brightness of the source varied by several orders of magnitude. The study also showed that reconstructions using optical properties measured in situ were superior to those based on data in the literature.

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