Optical imaging of Cerenkov light generation from positron-emitting radiotracers

Phys Med Biol. 2009 Aug 21;54(16):N355-65. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/54/16/N01. Epub 2009 Jul 27.


Radiotracers labeled with high-energy positron emitters, such as those commonly used for positron emission tomography studies, emit visible light immediately following decay in a medium. This phenomenon, not previously described for these imaging tracers, is consistent with Cerenkov radiation and has several potential applications, especially for in vivo molecular imaging studies. Herein we detail a new molecular imaging tool, Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging, the experiments conducted that support our interpretation of the source of the signal, and proof-of-concept in vivo studies that set the foundation for future application of this new method.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Electrons*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Luminescent Measurements / methods*
  • Mice
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radioactive Tracers
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Radioactive Tracers
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18