Molecular optical imaging with radioactive probes

PLoS One. 2010 Mar 1;5(3):e9470. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009470.


Background: Optical imaging (OI) techniques such as bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging have been widely used to track diseases in a non-invasive manner within living subjects. These techniques generally require bioluminescent and fluorescent probes. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of using radioactive probes for in vivo molecular OI.

Methodology/principal findings: By taking the advantages of low energy window of light (1.2-3.1 eV, 400-1000 nm) resulting from radiation, radionuclides that emit charged particles such as beta(+) and beta(-) can be successfully imaged with an OI instrument. In vivo optical images can be obtained for several radioactive probes including 2-deoxy-2-[(18)F]fluoro-D-glucose ([(18)F]FDG), Na(18)F, Na(131)I, (90)YCl(3) and a (90)Y labeled peptide that specifically target tumors.

Conclusions/significance: These studies demonstrate generalizability of radioactive OI technique. It provides a new molecular imaging strategy and will likely have significant impact on both small animal and clinical imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diagnostic Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes / pharmacology
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Optics and Photonics*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacology*
  • Sodium Fluoride / pharmacology
  • Sodium Iodide / pharmacology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Yttrium / pharmacology
  • Yttrium Radioisotopes / pharmacology


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Yttrium Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • yttrium chloride
  • Yttrium
  • Sodium Fluoride
  • Sodium Iodide