Optical-CT Imaging

Authored by: Xueli Chen , Dongmei Chen , FengLin Liu , Wenxiang Cong , Ge Wang , Jimin Liang

Handbook of Small Animal Imaging

Print publication date:  April  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466555686
eBook ISBN: 9781466555693
Adobe ISBN:


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As a small-animal molecular imaging technology, optical imaging has been attracting increased attention and has been a rapidly developing biomedical imaging field because of its significant advantages in temporal resolution, imaging contrast and sensitivity, nonionizing radiation, and cost-effectiveness (Weissleder and Ntziachristos 2003; Ntziachristos et al. 2005; Tian et al. 2008). The goal of optical imaging is to depict noninvasive in vivo cellular and molecular processes sensitively and specifically, such as monitoring multiple molecular events, cell trafficking, and targeting (Bhaumik and Gambhir 2002; Contag and Bachmann 2002; Massoud and Gambhir 2003). However, optical imaging has been in a planar mode and largely a qualitative imaging tool, which limits its applications. To overcome the limitations, a tomographic counterpart such as optical tomography has been developed and has become a valuable tool in the biomedical imaging field, which integrates multiple optical acquisitions from optical imaging, geometrical structures from computed tomography (CT), and tissue’s optical properties to directly reconstruct the optical probe distribution inside a small living animal. Optical tomography (OT), also called hybrid optical-CT imaging, is capable of three-dimensional (3D) recovery of the location and concentration of the optical probe inside a small living animal (Arridge 1999; Ntziachristos et al. 2002; Gibson et al. 2005). Among the modalities of OT, two main categories can be addressed according to whether the optical probe receives an external excitation source. One category is called spontaneous optical tomography (SOT), in which the optical probes emit luminescent light in the absence of an external excitation source, such as bioluminescence tomography (BLT) and Cerenkov luminescence tomography (CLT) (Wang et al. 2003, 2004; Hu et al. 2010; Li et al. 2010). The other is called passive optical tomography (POT), in which the optical probes can only emit fluorescent light in case of an external excitation source, such as fluorescence-mediated tomography (FMT) and x-ray luminescence computed tomography (XRLT). This chapter aims to review the four typical kinds of OT modalities stated earlier, including the mechanism, the imaging principle, the mathematical model and related reconstruction algorithm, and the prototype system and its biomedical applications.

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