Integrated PET and 3-dimensional (3D) fluorescence optical tomography (FOT) imaging has unique and attractive features for in vivo molecular imaging applications. We have designed, built, and evaluated a simultaneous PET and 3D FOT system. The design of the FOT system is compatible with many existing smallanimal PET scanners. Methods: The 3D FOT system comprises a novel conical mirror that is used to view the whole-body surface of a mouse with an electron-multiplying charge-coupled device camera when a collimated laser beam is projected on the mouse to stimulate fluorescence. The diffusion equation was used to model the propagation of optical photons inside the mouse body, and 3D fluorescence images were reconstructed iteratively from the fluorescence intensity measurements measured from the surface of the mouse. Insertion of the conical mirror into the gantry of a small-animal PET scanner allowed simultaneous PET and 3D FOT imaging. Results: The mutual interactions between PET and 3D FOT were evaluated experimentally. PET has negligible effects on 3D FOT performance. The inserted conical mirror introduces a reduction in the sensitivity and noise-equivalent count rate of the PET system and increases the scatter fraction. PET-FOT phantom experiments were performed. An in vivo experiment using both PET and FOT was also performed. Conclusion: Phantom and in vivo experiments demonstrate the feasibility of simultaneous PET and 3D FOT imaging. The first in vivo simultaneous PET-FOT results are reported.
- Optical imaging
- Small-animal imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging