Abstract

Previously, we reported on the spatial resolution and quantitative accuracy of temperature-modulated fluorescence tomography (TM-FT) using simulation studies. TM-FT is a novel fully integrated multimodality imaging technique that combines fluorescence diffuse optical tomography (FT) with focused ultrasound. Utilizing unique thermo-reversible fluorescent nanocapsules (ThermoDots), TM-FT provides high-resolution cross-sectional fluorescence images in thick tissue (up to 6 cm). Focused ultrasound and temperature-sensitive ThermoDots are combined to provide accurate localization of these fluorescent probes and functional a priori information to constrain the conventional FT reconstruction algorithm. Our previous simulation studies evaluated the performance of TM-FT using synthetic phantoms with multiple fluorescence targets of various sizes located at different depths. In this follow-up work, we perform experimental studies to evaluate the performance of this hybrid imaging system, in particular, the effect of size, depth, and concentration of the fluorescence target. While FT alone is unable to accurately locate and resolve the fluorophore target in many cases, TM-FT is able to resolve the size and concentration of the ThermoDots within a thick turbid medium with high accuracy for all cases. The maximum error in the recovered ThermoDots concentration and target sizes with TM-FT are 12% and 25%, respectively.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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