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.