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Nat Photonics. 2011 Dec 1;5(12):744-747. Epub 2011 Oct 23.

Molecular imaging true-colour spectroscopic optical coherence tomography.

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1
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA ; Medical Physics Program, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA.

Abstract

Molecular imaging holds a pivotal role in medicine due to its ability to provide invaluable insight into disease mechanisms at molecular and cellular levels. To this end, various techniques have been developed for molecular imaging, each with its own advantages and disadvantages(1-4). For example, fluorescence imaging achieves micrometre-scale resolution, but has low penetration depths and is mostly limited to exogenous agents. Here, we demonstrate molecular imaging of endogenous and exogenous chromophores using a novel form of spectroscopic optical coherence tomography. Our approach consists of using a wide spectral bandwidth laser source centred in the visible spectrum, thereby allowing facile assessment of haemoglobin oxygen levels, providing contrast from readily available absorbers, and enabling true-colour representation of samples. This approach provides high spectral fidelity while imaging at the micrometre scale in three dimensions. Molecular imaging true-colour spectroscopic optical coherence tomography (METRiCS OCT) has significant implications for many biomedical applications including ophthalmology, early cancer detection, and understanding fundamental disease mechanisms such as hypoxia and angiogenesis.

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