This paper presents in vivo experiments conducted on cancerous mice bearing mammary murine tumors. In order to reconstruct the fluorescence yield even in highly attenuating and heterogeneous regions like lungs, we developed a fDOT reconstruction method which at first corrects the light propagation model from optical heterogeneities by using the transmitted excitation light measurements. The same approach is also designed to enable working without immersing the mouse in adaptation liquid. The 3D fluorescence map is then reconstructed from the emitted signal of fluorescence and from the corrected propagation model by an ART (Algebraic Reconstruction Technique) algorithm. The system ability to reconstruct fluorescence distribution in presence of high attenuating objects has been validated on phantoms presenting a fluorescent absorbent inclusion. A study was conducted on mice to follow up lungs at different stages of tumor development. The mice were imaged after intravenous injection to the animal of a cancer specific fluorescent marker. A control experiment was conducted in parallel on healthy mice to ensure that the multiple injections of fluorophore did not induce parasite fluorescence distribution. These results validate our system performances for studying small animal lungs tumor evolution. Detection and localization of the fluorophore fixations expresses the tumor development.

© 2007 SPIE

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