Applications of molecular imaging in cancer and other diseases frequently require the combination of in vivo imaging modalities, such as MR and optical imaging, with ex vivo optical, fluorescence, histology and immunohistochemical imaging to investigate and relate molecular and biological processes to imaging parameters within the same region of interest. We have developed a multimodal image reconstruction and fusion framework that accurately combines in vivo MRI and MRSI, ex vivo brightfield and fluorescence microscopic imaging and ex vivo histology imaging. Ex vivo brightfield microscopic imaging was used as an intermediate modality to facilitate the ultimate link between ex vivo histology and in vivo MRI/MRSI. Tissue sectioning necessary for optical and histology imaging required the generation of a three-dimensional reconstruction module for two-dimensional ex vivo optical and histology imaging data. We developed an external fiducial marker-based three-dimensional reconstruction method, which was able to fuse optical brightfield and fluorescence with histology imaging data. The registration of the three-dimensional tumor shape was pursued to combine in vivo MRI/MRSI and ex vivo optical brightfield and fluorescence imaging data. This registration strategy was applied to in vivo MRI/MRSI, ex vivo optical brightfield/fluorescence and histology imaging datasets obtained from human breast tumor models. Three-dimensional human breast tumor datasets were successfully reconstructed and fused with this platform.
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.