Applications of Spectral Imaging: Detection and Analysis of Human Melanoma and Its Precursors



    1. Center for Light Microscope Imaging and Biotechnology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
    2. Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219
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    1. Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
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Address reprint requests to Dr. Dorothea Becker, Department of Pathology, BST E1050, University of Pittsburgh, 211 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213. E-mail:


Light-based imaging has extensive applications for medicine and biology, and recent advances in optical imaging modalities, such as confocal and multi-photon scanning fluorescence microscopy, bioluminescence, optical coherence tomography, and spectral imaging, have opened new avenues for visualizing and recording over time dynamic changes in genetic, developmental, and disease mechanisms that cannot be captured by conventional light microscopy. In the present article, we focus on spectral imaging, and using human melanoma and its precursor lesions as an example, we describe the ability of spectral imaging to detect early-stage disease, capture gene expression profiles in tissue specimens, and visualize gene functions in tumors growing in living animals.