Overview and technology
MSOT – Multi-Spectral Optoacoustic Tomography is an innovative in-vivo imaging technology based on optoacoustics. Optoacoustics is comprised of 2 elements, an optical one and an acoustic one. The Optical element is a tunable laser in the spectrum of 680-1300nm that is used to excite molecules within the animal. The acoustic element is a tomographic array of ultrasound detectors surrounding the animal that are used to pick up the ultrasonic signals emitted by the molecules. The data is then reconstructed to a 3D model that contains both anatomical and molecular information. The type of molecules is separated one from another by using a spectral unmixing algorithm based on the absorbance spectrum of each material, such as tissue, oxygenated hemoglobin, deoxygenated hemoglobin, fat tissue, bone, near-infrared molecular markers (ICG, IRFP), nanoparticles (GNR, GNP), and more. An image per wavelength is taken each 10th of a second enabling fast scanning of entire cross-sections for kinetics and biodistribution studies. For the anatomical image, a novel 3D ultrasound tomography is used to give an incredibly sharp image.
The MSOT system is used for a wide array of applications due to its ability to image soft tissue, hard tissue with molecular data such as tissue oxygenation and marked cells or agents at high speed. In many cancer studies, the system is used for measuring the tumor volume, its oxygenation microenvironment (active vs necrotic tissue of the tumor), vascular network, and tracking of therapeutic agents.
The MSOT is the only instrument capable of continuously imaging a mouse from head to tail for a long period of time to see therapeutic effects in real-time. The new MSOT Invision 256 Echo is also capable of measuring the speed of sound propagation through tissue to give a map of tissue stiffness, which is good for separating different tissue types and tracking pathologies such as fibrosis.