, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 263-276
Date: 08 Oct 2011

Multimodal 3D Imaging of Cells and Tissue, Bridging the Gap Between Clinical and Research Microscopy

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Absorption dyes are widely used in traditional cytology and pathology clinical practice, while fluorophores and nanoparticles are more often used in biologic research. Optical projection tomographic microscopy (OPTM) is a platform technology that can image the same specimen in multiple modes in 3D, providing morphologic and molecular information concurrently and in exact co-registration. The depth-of-field of a high numerical aperture objective is extended by scanning the focal plane through the sample to generate an optical projection image. Samples of cells or tissue are brought into the OPTM instrument through a microcapillary tube filled with optical index-matching gel. Multiple optical projection images are taken from different perspectives by rotating the tube. Computed tomography (CT) algorithms are applied to these optical projection images to reconstruct 3D structure of the sample. Image segmentation and analysis based on these 3D images provide quantitative biosignatures for cancer diagnosis that represents a clear improvement over conventional 2D image analysis. In this article, we introduce the OPTM platform, optical Cell-CT, and Tissue-CT instruments, and some applications using these OPTM instruments.

Associate Editor Daniel Elson oversaw the review of this article.