Diffuse fluorescence tomography systems that employ highly sensitive photo-multiplier tubes for single-photon detection are pushing the sensitivity limits of the field. However, each of these detectors only offers a single data projection to be collected, implying these imaging systems either require many detectors or long scan times to collect full data sets for image reconstruction. This study presents a method of utilizing the time-resolved collection capabilities of time-correlated single-photon counting techniques to increase spatial resolution and to reduce the number of data projections to produce reliable fluorescence reconstructions. Experimental tissue phantom results demonstrate that using data at 10 time gates in the fluorescence reconstructions for only 40 data projections provided superior image accuracy when compared to reconstructions on 320 continuous-wave data projections.
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