A fast 3-D optical imaging method with use of exogenous fluorescence agent is proposed and demonstrated by simulation in a model tissue. After administration of fluorescent agent, ultrashort near-infrared laser pulses are used to illuminate the tissue and excite fluorescence emission. The transient fluorescence signals are detected on the tissue boundaries and employed to reconstruct a 3-D image of relative fluorescence emission distribution inside the tissue. A region with greater fluorescence emission represents a diseased tissue if the fluorescent agent has a close affinity with the disease. We successfully demonstrated the feasibility of this method in the imaging of a small cubic tumor embedded in a cubical tissue phantom with a preassigned uptake distribution of fluorescent indocyanine green dye. The image reconstruction does not involve any inverse optimization. It took less than 5 minutes in a general PC for the two model imaging problems.
©2004 Optical Society of America
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