Quantitative fluorescence imaging of point-like sources in small animals
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A planar imaging approach is described for the in vivo quantitative reconstruction of fluorescent point sources in small animals. The method uses the diffusion approximation as a forward model of light propagation from a point source in a homogeneous tissue to find source depth and strength. The tissue optical properties obtained from video reflectometry measurements were used to compensate for the effects of tissue heterogeneity. The method was evaluated on images of fluorescent sources implanted 2-8.5 mm deep in the thigh and abdomen of rats post mortem. In more than 70% of the total number of implants the source depth was retrieved with an error of less than 1 mm. The largest absolute error was 1.9 mm. In retrieving source strength, the errors ranged from 0.4% to 89% generally increasing with increased source depth.
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