Abstract

Fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) can visualize biological activities at cellular and molecular levels in vivo, and has been extensively used in drug delivery and tumor detection research of small animals. The ill-posedness of the FMT inverse problem makes it difficult to reconstruct and unmix multiple adjacent fluorescent targets that have different functional features but are labeled with the same fluorochrome. A method based on independent component analysis for multispectral excited FMT was proposed in our previous study. It showed that double fluorescent targets with certain edge-to-edge distance (EED) could be unmixed by the method. In this study, the situation is promoted to unmix multiple adjacent fluorescent targets (i.e., more than two fluorescent targets and EED=0). Phantom experiments on the resolving ability of the proposed algorithm demonstrate that the algorithm performs well in unmixing multiple adjacent fluorescent targets in both lateral and axial directions. And also, we recovered the locational information of each independent fluorescent target and described the variable trends of the corresponding fluorescent targets under the excitation spectrum. This method is capable of unmixing multiple fluorescent targets with small EED but labeled with the same fluorochrome, and may be used in imaging of nonspecific probe targeting and metabolism of drugs.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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