Diffuse optical tomography (DOT) is emerging as a viable new biomedical imaging modality. Using near-infrared (NIR) light, this technique probes absorption as well as scattering properties of biological tissues. First commercial instruments are now available that allow users to obtain cross-sectional and volumetric views of various body parts. Currently, the main applications are brain, breast, limb, joint, and fluorescence/bioluminescence imaging. Although the spatial resolution is limited when compared with other imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-ray computerized tomography (CT), DOT provides access to a variety of physiological parameters that otherwise are not accessible, including sub-second imaging of hemodynamics and other fast-changing processes. Furthermore, DOT can be realized in compact, portable instrumentation that allows for bedside monitoring at relatively low cost. In this paper, we present an overview of current state-of-the -art technology, including hardware and image-reconstruction algorithms, and focus on applications in brain and joint imaging. In addition, we present recent results of work on optical tomographic imaging in small animals.