• bioluminescence;
  • fluorescence;
  • near-infrared;
  • in vivo imaging;
  • metastatic model


Optical imaging is a cornerstone of modern oncologic research. The aim of this study is to determine the value of a new tool to enhance bioluminescent and fluorescent sensitivity for facilitating very-low-level signal detection in vivo. Experimental: For bioluminescent imaging experiments, a luciferase expressing breast cancer cell line with metastatic phenotype was implanted orthotopically into the mammary fat pad of mice. For fluorescent imaging experiments, near-infrared (NIR) nanoparticles were injected intratumorally and subcutaneously into mice. Images were compared in mice with and without application of the ‘Gator’ Mouse Suit (GMS). Results: The GMS was associated with early detection and quantification of metastatic bioluminescent very-low-level signal not possible with conventional imaging strategies. Similarly, NIR nanoparticles that were undetectable in locations beyond the primary injection site could be visualized and their very-low-level signal quantifiable with the aid of the GMS. Conclusion: The GMS is a device which has tremendous potential for facilitating the development of bioluminescent models and fluorescent nanomaterials for translational oncologic applications. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.