Multi-modal diffuse optical tomography and bioluminescence tomography system for pre-clinical imaging

Project completed in 2013.

Dr Hamid Dehghani, School of Computer Science
Dr Iain Styles, School of Computer Science
Professor Jon Frampton, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences

This project will develop an open-ended and novel multi-modal in vivo imaging system in three dimensions to show the size, location and contrast of molecular beacons and markers which can be used to quantify specific cellular activity. It will combine the complementary imaging techniques of bioluminescence tomography (BLT) and diffuse optical tomography (DOT).

The main areas of research will be (i) a novel data collection system to allow tomographic image reconstruction without organism or system movement; ii) the use of DOT to quantify the optical spectral properties of tissue under investigation; (iii) a novel imaging setup to obtain spectral optical signals using single view transmission data; (iv) the quantification of specific cellular activity from bioluminescence data; (v) imaging algorithms to recover tissue patho-physiology as a function of measured data; and (vi) evaluations of the completed system in imaging and stem cell research to assess new treatments areas ranging from inherited metabolic disorders to chronic liver damage.

The project will be characterised by the integration of bioscience, physical science and computer science. Since the proposed system is designed to shed light upon biological questions, it will specifically involve attaining an understanding of stem cell and cancer biology, as well as potentially other areas of biological study to which BLT can be applied, such as monitoring immune cell trafficking and drug development. The project will also involve the handling of in vivo samples. The actual problem of system design is partly one of physical science; practical system design, construction and testing, understanding the theory of optics, image formation, light transport, and model-based design; and partly one of computer science; simulation, systems programming, user interface development, computational modeling and optimisation. There will also be an element of physical phantom design; a physical problem that is likely to involve biological components.

Link to ethesis: