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Phys Med Biol. 2010 Jan 7;55(1):191-206. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/1/011.

Co-registered optical coherence tomography and fluorescence molecular imaging for simultaneous morphological and molecular imaging.

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  • 1Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides high-resolution, cross-sectional imaging of tissue microstructure in situ and in real time, while fluorescence molecular imaging (FMI) enables the visualization of basic molecular processes. There is a great deal of interest in combining these two modalities so that the tissue's structural and molecular information can be obtained simultaneously. This could greatly benefit biomedical applications such as detecting early diseases and monitoring therapeutic interventions. In this research, an optical system that combines OCT and FMI was developed. The system demonstrated that it could co-register en face OCT and FMI images with a 2.4 x 2.4 mm(2) field-of-view. The transverse resolutions of OCT and FMI of the system are both approximately 10 microm. Capillary tubes filled with fluorescent dye Cy 5.5 in different concentrations under a scattering medium are used as the phantom. En face OCT images of the phantoms were obtained and successfully co-registered with FMI images that were acquired simultaneously. A linear relationship between FMI intensity and dye concentration was observed. The relationship between FMI intensity and target fluorescence tube depth measured by OCT images was also observed and compared with theoretical modeling. This relationship could help in correcting reconstructed dye concentration. Imaging of colon polyps of the APC(min) mouse model is presented as an example of biological applications of this co-registered OCT/FMI system.

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