In the current study by Kothapalli et al, the feasibility of using Cerenkov luminescence imaging for endoscopic imaging applications is investigated. Due to the strong tissue attenuation of Cerenkov light, noninvasive imaging applications are limited to superficial sites. The ability to detect Cerenkov luminescence through an endoscope or laparoscope would greatly extend tissue accessibility. The work published here is focused on development of a preliminary system consisting of fiber optics coupled with a sensitive CCD camera for detection of low light levels. Tissue phantom experiments were completed using different types of fiber optics to determine the most optical Cerenkov detection instrumentation, where the fiber optic with the largest diameter (6 mm) gave the best signal detection. Fiber optics of this size are consistent with the design of current clinical endoscopes and detection could be further improved by use of specialized fiber optics of similar diameter with high light transmission efficiency in the visible wavelengths. Using the preliminary setup, the authors also demonstrate the ability to detect Cerenkov luminescence emanating from mouse organs such as liver, kidney, heart, brain, muscle, and subcutaneously implanted tumors one hour after intravenous administration of fluorodeoxyglucose. From these preliminary studies, endoscopic imaging of Cerenkov luminescence appears to be a promising tool warranting further investigation.
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