Over the past three decades, non-invasive molecular imaging via optical tomography has garnered attention in the field of preclinical imaging thanks to its high sensitivity and ability to image multiple biomarkers simultaneously. However, it is still very challenging to image intact tissues with high resolution while retaining the two aforementioned characteristics.
Over the last few years, our group has pioneered Mesoscopic Fluorescence Molecular Tomography (MFMT), a novel imaging modality that recapitulates the 3D distribution of fluorescent markers within thick and diffuse samples (< 3 mm) with spatial resolution ~100 µm. Still, as a diffuse optical inverse problem, the image formation can be challenging due to its ill-conditioned nature. Herein, we report on the fusion of MFMT with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to provide both structural and molecular imaging capabilities. Moreover, we leverage the OCT information to impart structural priors that facilitate the optical inverse problem in MFMT. We demonstrate the capability and utility of this novel platform on bioprinted tissues, fluorescent polymer letters in agar phantoms, and on microfabricated beads at different imaging depths.