Comparison of photoacoustic and fluorescence tomography for the in vivo imaging of ICG-labelled liposomes in the medullary cavity in mice

Jana Humbert, Olga Will, Tuula Peñate-Medina, Oula Peñate-Medina, Olav Jansen, Marcus Both, Claus Christian Glüer
Few reports quantitatively compare the performance of photoacoustic tomography (PAT) versus fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) in vivo. We compared both modalities for the detection of signals from injected ICG liposomes in the tibial medullary space of 10 BALB/c mice in vivo and ex vivo. Signals significantly correlated between modalities (R² = 0.69) and within each modality in vivo versus ex vivo (PAT: R² = 0.70, FMT: R² = 0.76). Phantom studies showed that signals at 4 mm depth are detected down to 3.3 ng ICG by PAT and 33 ng by FMT, with a nominal spatial resolution below 0.5 mm in PAT and limited to 1 mm in FMT. Our study demonstrates comparable in vivo sensitivity, but superior ex vivo sensitivity and in vivo resolution for our ICG liposomes of the VevoLAZR versus the FMT2500. PAT provides a useful new tool for the high-resolution imaging of bone marrow signals, for example for monitoring drug delivery.

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