The theoretical modeling of fluorescence excitation, emission, and propagation within living tissue has been a limiting
factor in the development and calibration of in vivo small animal fluorescence imagers. To date, no definitive calibration
standard, or phantom, has been developed for use with small animal fluorescence imagers. Our work in the theoretical
modeling of fluorescence in small animals using solid modeling software is useful in optimizing the design of small
animal imaging systems, and in predicting their response to a theoretical model. In this respect, it is also valuable in the
design of a fluorescence phantom for use in in vivo small animal imaging.
The use of phantoms is a critical step in the testing and calibration of most diagnostic medical imaging systems. Despite
this, a realistic, reproducible, and informative phantom has yet to be produced for use in small animal fluorescence
imaging. By modeling the theoretical response of various types of phantoms, it is possible to determine which
parameters are necessary for accurately modeling fluorescence within inhomogenous scattering media such as tissue.
Here, we present the model that has been developed, the challenges and limitations associated with developing such a
model, and the applicability of this model to experimental results obtained in a commercial small animal fluorescence