Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open AccessInvestigating line- versus point-laser excitation for three-dimensional fluorescence imaging and tomography employing a trimodal imaging system
The adoption of axially oriented line illumination patterns for fluorescence excitation in small animals for fluorescence surface imaging (FSI) and fluorescence optical tomography (FOT) is being investigated. A trimodal single-photon-emission-computed-tomography/computed-tomography/optical-tomography (SPECT-CT-OT) small animal imaging system is being modified for employment of point- and line-laser excitation sources. These sources can be arbitrarily positioned around the imaged object. The line source is set to illuminate the object along its entire axial direction. Comparative evaluation of point and line illumination patterns for FSI and FOT is provided involving phantom as well as mouse data. Given the trimodal setup, CT data are used to guide the optical approaches by providing boundary information. Furthermore, FOT results are also being compared to SPECT. Results show that line-laser illumination yields a larger axial field of view (FOV) in FSI mode, hence faster data acquisition, and practically acceptable FOT reconstruction throughout the whole animal. Also, superimposed SPECT and FOT data provide additional information on similarities as well as differences in the distribution and uptake of both probe types. Fused CT data enhance further the anatomical localization of the tracer distribution in vivo. The feasibility of line-laser excitation for three-dimensional fluorescence imaging and tomography is demonstrated for initiating further research, however, not with the intention to replace one by the other.