Date: 21 Dec 2010

Čerenkov radioactive optical imaging: a promising new strategy

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There can be no doubt that the usefulness of this radiation will in the future be rapidly extended [1].

Pavel A. Čerenkov (1904–1990)

In the “Focus On...” articles, published over the past 5 years, we have sought to highlight the very latest developments in various areas of our rapidly evolving discipline. In this last article of the series, we turn our attention to the recent development and application of an original imaging strategy that could have a substantial impact on molecular imaging, and particularly on efforts to combine different imaging modalities, and that may prove to be a cost-effective solution for laboratories currently limited to optical imaging techniques.

The strategy is based on a type of electromagnetic radiation called Čerenkov radiation (CR) after the Russian scientist who discovered it. CR is produced when a charged particle travels faster than the speed of light through an insulating medium. The particle induces a local polarisation along its path through the me

“Focus on...” abridgements aim to highlight papers published within the past year and draw extensively on the texts and summaries of the articles referenced. Less recent citations are also included when deemed useful to provide background information on the topic reviewed.