Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) is a widely used pre-clinical imaging technique, but there are a number of limitations to its quantitative accuracy. This work uses an animal model to demonstrate some significant limitations of BLI and presents processing methods and algorithms which overcome these limitations, increasing the quantitative accuracy of the technique. The position of the imaging subject and source depth are both shown to affect the measured luminescence intensity. Free Space Modelling is used to eliminate the systematic error due to the camera/subject geometry, removing the dependence of luminescence intensity on animal position. Bioluminescence tomography (BLT) is then used to provide additional information about the depth and intensity of the source. A substantial limitation in the number of sources identified using BLI is also presented. It is shown that when a given source is at a significant depth, it can appear as multiple sources when imaged using BLI, while the use of BLT recovers the true number of sources present.

© 2015 SPIE

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