Tomographic bioluminescence imaging


Prof. Dr. George Alexandrakis

Bioengineering, UTA


The translation of putative cancer therapy agents to the clinic can be greatly facilitated by non-invasive imaging methods that allow high throughput screening in animal models. Additionally, time-lapse whole body imaging of animals bearing xenografts of appropriately labeled cancer cells can provide new information on tumor growth dynamics and metastasis patterns that is not possible to obtain by invasive experimental approaches. Planar bioluminescence imaging has recently emerged as a modality that can meet these research needs by use of low cost and easy to operate equipment. Unfortunately, light is both absorbed and multiply scattered by living tissues, resulting in non-quantitative surface weighted images of luminous sources. The presentation will provide an overview of the state of the art in photon propagation models, image reconstruction algorithms and photon detection technologies employed to compensate for these disruptive tissue effects. The long term aim of this work is the construction of a practically useful device that will recover the actual three-dimensional distribution of luminescent cancer cell populations in mice.



Dr. Alexandrakis performed his undergraduate work in Physics at Oxford University. He then obtained a Master's and a PhD degree in Medical Physics from McMaster University in Canada. After completing graduate work, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School where he worked on quantitative intravital two-photon microscopy techniques for the analysis of barriers to drug delivery in tumor-bearing mice. He then pursued further postdoctoral work at UCLA where he contributed to the development of a combined optical/PET mouse imaging system.