The impact of advancing tomographic optical imaging is potentially enormous since it offers a work frame whereas specific functional or molecular events could be quantitatively imaged in deep tissues and hence significantly advances basic cancer research, drug discovery and healthcare practices. Advanced diffuse optical tomography (DOT) algorithms require good a priori knowledge of the boundary geometry of the diffuse medium being imaged to provide accurate forward models of light propagation within this medium. To date, there is no known technique for automated extracting complete 3600 3D boundaries with accurate and real-time in vivo performance. To address this pressing need in the small animal imaging community, Technest Inc. in collaboration with Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School (HMS), and Tufts University propose to use a novel 3D camera ring system for small animal DOT imaging. Instead of using a single camera and a motion stage to acquire multiple images of the animal body surface, the camera ring can simultaneously acquire multiple (16) surface images in vivo and automatically generate 3D surface model of the animal. The 3D model provides accurate geometric boundary information for the DOT subsystem. The distinguished advantages of our proposed imaging system include: """""""" Automated complete 3600 coverage of small animal (mouse) body surface;"""""""" High speed and In vivo imaging capability;"""""""" Minimal post processing;"""""""" Coherent integration of 3D surface data with multi-spectral DOT imaging modality;"""""""" Compact and low-cost design.
The proposed 3600 3D Camera Ring enhanced DOT system represents a new image modality that has a direct impact on preclinical molecular imaging in the area of non-invasive optical imaging. The impact of this research is potentially enormous since it offers a work frame whereas specific functional or molecular events could be quantitatively imaged and hence significantly advances basic cancer research, drug discovery and healthcare practices.