Fluorescence diffuse tomography for detection of red fluorescent protein expressed tumors in small animals

J Biomed Opt. 2008 Jul-Aug;13(4):041310. doi: 10.1117/1.2953528.


A fluorescence diffuse tomography (FDT) setup for monitoring tumor growth in small animals has been created. In this setup an animal is scanned in the transilluminative configuration by a single source and detector pair. To remove stray light in the detection system, we used a combination of interferometric and absorption filters. To reduce the scanning time, an experimental animal was scanned using the following algorithm: (1) large-step scanning to obtain a general view of the animal (source and detector move synchronously); (2) selection of the fluorescing region; and (3) small-step scanning of the selected region and different relative shifts between the source and detector to obtain sufficient information for 3D reconstruction. We created a reconstruction algorithm based on the Holder norm to estimate the fluorophore distribution. This algorithm converges to the solution with a minimum number of fluorescing zones. The use of tumor cell lines transfected with fluorescent proteins allowed us to conduct intravital monitoring studies. Cell lines of human melanomas Mel-P, Mel-Ibr, Mel-Kor, and human embryonic kidney HEK293 Phoenix were transfected with DsRed-Express and Turbo-RFP genes. The emission of red fluorescent proteins (RFPs) in the long-wave optical range permits detection of deep-seated tumors. In vivo experiments were conducted immediately after subcutaneous injection of fluorescing cells into small animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Luminescent Proteins*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical / methods*
  • Whole Body Imaging / methods*


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • fluorescent protein 583