We present a high-sensitivity near-infrared optical imaging system for noninvasive cancer detection and localization based on molecularly labeled fluorescent contrast agents. This frequency-domain system utilizes the interferencelike pattern of diffuse photon density waves to achieve high detection sensitivity and localization accuracy for the fluorescent heterogeneity embedded inside the scattering media. A two-dimensional localization map is obtained through reflectance probe geometry and goniometric reconstruction. In vivo measurements with a tumor-bearing mouse model by use of the novel Cypate-mono-2-deoxy-glucose fluorescent contrast agent, which targets the enhanced tumor glycolysis, demonstrate the feasibility of detection of a 2-cm-deep subsurface tumor in the tissuelike medium, with a localization accuracy within 2–3 mm.
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