The biodistribution of two near-infrared fluorescent agents was assessed in vivo by time-resolved diffuse optical imaging. Bacteriochlorophyll a (BC) and cypate-glysine-arginine-aspartic acid-serine-proline-lysine-OH (Cyp-GRD) were administered separately or combined to mice with subcutaneous xenografts of human breast adenocarcinoma and slow-release estradiol pellets for improved tumor growth. The same excitation (780 nm) and emission (830 nm) wavelengths were used to image the distinct fluorescence lifetime distribution of the fluorescent molecular probes in the mouse cancer model. Fluorescence intensity and lifetime maps were reconstructed after raster-scanning whole-body regions of interest by time-correlated single-photon counting. Each captured temporal point-spread function (TPSF) was deconvolved using both a single and a multiexponental decay model to best determine the measured fluorescence lifetimes. The relative signal from each fluorophore was estimated for any region of interest included in the scanned area. Deconvolution of the individual TPSFs from whole-body fluorescence intensity scans provided corresponding lifetime images for comparing individual component biodistribution. In vivo fluorescence lifetimes were determined to be 0.8 ns (Cyp-GRD) and 2 ns (BC). This study demonstrates that the relative biodistribution of individual fluorophores with similar spectral characteristics can be compartmentalized by using the time-domain fluorescence lifetime gating method.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Condensed Matter Physics