Whole-Body Cerenkov Luminescence Tomography with the Finite Element SP3 Method
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- Zhong, J., Tian, J., Yang, X. et al. Ann Biomed Eng (2011) 39: 1728. doi:10.1007/s10439-011-0261-1
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Generation of an accurate Cerenkov luminescence imaging model is a current issue of nuclear tomography with optical techniques. The article takes a pro-active approach toward whole-body Cerenkov luminescence tomography. The finite element framework employs the equation of radiative transfer via the third-order simplified spherical harmonics approximation to model Cerenkov photon propagation in a small animal. After this forward model is performed on a digital mouse with optical property heterogeneity and compared with the Monte Carlo method, we investigated the whole body reconstruction algorithm along a regularization path via coordinate descent. The endpoint of the follow-up study is the in vivo application, which provides three-dimensional biodistribution of the radiotracer uptake in the mouse from measured partial boundary currents. The combination of the forward and inverse model with elastic-net penalties is not only validated by numerical simulation, but it also effectively demonstrates in vivo imaging in small animals. Our exact reconstruction method enables optical molecular imaging to best utilize Cerenkov radiation emission from the decay of medical isotopes in tissues.