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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2011 Nov 28;369(1955):4620-43. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0264.

In vivo optical imaging and dynamic contrast methods for biomedical research.

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Laboratory for Functional Optical Imaging, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Columbia University in the City of New York, New York, NY 10027, USA.


This paper provides an overview of optical imaging methods commonly applied to basic research applications. Optical imaging is well suited for non-clinical use, since it can exploit an enormous range of endogenous and exogenous forms of contrast that provide information about the structure and function of tissues ranging from single cells to entire organisms. An additional benefit of optical imaging that is often under-exploited is its ability to acquire data at high speeds; a feature that enables it to not only observe static distributions of contrast, but to probe and characterize dynamic events related to physiology, disease progression and acute interventions in real time. The benefits and limitations of in vivo optical imaging for biomedical research applications are described, followed by a perspective on future applications of optical imaging for basic research centred on a recently introduced real-time imaging technique called dynamic contrast-enhanced small animal molecular imaging (DyCE).

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