Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) exploits the light-emitting properties of luciferase enzymes for monitoring cells and biomolecular processes in living subjects. Luciferases can be incorporated into a variety of non-luminescent hosts and used to track cells, visualize gene expression, and analyze collections of biomolecules. This article highlights recent applications of BLI to studies of mammalian biology, along with the development of novel bioluminescent probes to 'see' cells and molecules in action. Collectively, these efforts are expanding our understanding of living systems and shedding light on the molecular underpinnings of disease.
2009. Published by Elsevier Ltd.