TH-AB-209-04: 3D Light Sheet Luminescence Imaging with Cherenkov Radiation




To recover a three-dimensional density distribution of luminescent molecular probes located several centimeters deep within a highly scattering tissue.


We developed a novel sheet beam Cherenkov-excited luminescence scanned imaging (CELSI) methodology. The sample was irradiated by a horizontally oriented, vertically scanned 6 MV X-ray sheet beam (200mm × 5mm, 0.2mm vertical step) from a radiotherapy linear accelerator. The resulting Cherenkov light emission – and thus luminescent probe excitation – occurred exclusively along the irradiation plane due to a short diffusion path of secondary particles and Cherenkov photons. Cherenkov-excited luminescence was detected orthogonally to the sheet beam by gated, intensified charge coupled device camera. Analogously to light sheet microscopy, a series of luminescence images was taken for varied axial positions (depths) of the Cherenkov light sheet in sample. Knowledge of the excitation plane position allowed a 3D image stack deconvolution and depth-variant attenuation correction. The 3D image post-processing yielded a true spatial density distribution of luminescent molecules in highly scattering tissue.


We recovered a three-dimensional shape and position of 400 µL lesion-mimicking phantom tubes containing 25 µM solution of PtG4 molecular probe from 3 centimeter deep tissue-like media. The high sensitivity of CELSI also allowed resolving 100 micron capillaries of test solution. Functional information of partial oxygen pressure at the site of PtG4 molecular probe was recovered from luminescence lifetime CELSI. Finally, in-vivo sheet beam CELSI localized milimeter-sized PtG4-labelled tumor phantoms in multiple biological objects (hairless mice) from single scan.


Presented sheet beam CELSI technique greatly extended the useful depth range of luminescence molecular imaging. More importantly, the light sheet microscopy approach was successfully adapted to CELSI, providing means to recover a completely attenuation-corrected 3D image of luminescent probe distribution. Gated CELSI acquisition yielded functional information of a spatially resolved oxygen concentration map of deep lying targets.

This work was supported by NIH research grant R01CA109558 and R21EB017559, as well as by Pilot Grant Funds from the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.