System development for high frequency ultrasound-guided fluorescence quantification of skin layers

J Biomed Opt. 2010 Mar-Apr;15(2):026028. doi: 10.1117/1.3374040.


A high frequency ultrasound-coupled fluorescence tomography system, primarily designed for imaging of protoporphyrin IX production in skin tumors in vivo, is demonstrated for the first time. The design couples fiber-based spectral sampling of the protoporphyrin IX fluorescence emission with high frequency ultrasound imaging, allowing thin-layer fluorescence intensities to be quantified. The system measurements are obtained by serial illumination of four linear source locations, with parallel detection at each of five interspersed detection locations, providing 20 overlapping measures of subsurface fluorescence from both superficial and deep locations in the ultrasound field. Tissue layers are defined from the segmented ultrasound images and diffusion theory used to estimate the fluorescence in these layers. The system calibration is presented with simulation and phantom validation of the system in multilayer regions. Pilot in-vivo data are also presented, showing recovery of subcutaneous tumor tissue values of protoporphyrin IX in a subcutaneous U251 tumor, which has less fluorescence than the skin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Protoporphyrins / analysis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence / instrumentation*
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation*


  • Protoporphyrins
  • protoporphyrin IX