Contrast agents are commonly applied to tissue in vitro and in vivo to aid in the extraction of diagnostically useful information from the sample. For example, staining techniques are commonly used to highlight cellular structures when using light microscopy to examine tissue samples. On a more gross level, sensitive differentiation between normal tissue and neoplasia in various tissue sites has been recently demonstrated through the use of 5-aminolevulinic acid induced protoporphyrin IX fluorescence [1].

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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