Optical imaging has long been hindered by the high absorption and scattering of light in biological tissue. This makes it difficult to probe beyond a few millimeters beneath the surface without sacrificing image resolution and quantitative accuracy. Strong scattering and the inherent nature of the inverse problem makes fluorescence diffuse optical tomography (FT) extremely challenging. To this end, multi-modality techniques that combine anatomical imaging with the functional optical information have been used to improve the resolution and accuracy of FT. Previously, we have reported on the feasibility of a new imaging method, "Thermal Outlining using Focused Ultrasound" (TOFU), which combines the sensitivity of FT with the resolution of focused ultrasound using temperature reversible fluorescent probes. In this method, the position of the temperature reversible fluorescent probes is localized by an increase in fluorescent signal when the hot spot of the focused ultrasound beam is scanned over the medium. This a priori information is then utilized to guide and constrain conventional reconstruction algorithm to recover the position and concentration of the probes more accurately. The small size of the focal spot (~1.4 mm) up to a depth of 6 cm, allows imaging the distribution of these temperature sensitive agents with not only high spatial resolution but also high quantitative accuracy in deep tissue. In this work, the performance of the system will be evaluated using simulation and phantoms to investigate the dependence that size of the fluorescent distribution has on the TOFU system performance.
Tiffany C. Kwong, Farouk Nouizi, Yuting Lin, Yue Zhu, Uma Sampathkumaran, and Gultekin Gulsen, "Thermal Outlining using Focused Ultrasound (TOFU) with reversible temperature sensitive fluorescent probes," Proc. SPIE 9701, Multimodal Biomedical Imaging XI, 97010L (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 14, 2016; Published: 10 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213799.
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