Listen to light, listen to molecules.
The innovative nature of the MSOT technology (Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography) is its capability for volumetric, quantitative differentiation of tissue, in vivo and in real time, with and without the application of contrast agents.
The method operates through several millimeters to centimeters of tissue enabling tomographic three-dimensional imaging with optical contrast, significantly deeper than even the most advanced forms of modern microscopy. The video-rate image acquisition facilitates visualization of dynamic phenomena over time, avoiding delays through imaging and long scan times. No other technology can currently compete with such performance.
MSOT allows safe power delivery in tissue by operating in the near-infrared (NIR) spectral region, where low light attenuation allows deep penetration in tissue. High detection specificity is achieved by resolving multiple spectral signatures through tissues and accurately decomposing the biodistribution of relevant molecules from non-specific background contributions.
Principle of MSOT operation
Pulsed light of time-shared multiple wavelengths illuminates the tissue of interest and establishes transient photon fields in tissue.
In response to the fast absorption transients by tissue elements, acoustic responses are generated via the photoacoustic phenomenon, which are then detected with acoustic detectors. By modeling photon and acoustic propagation in tissues and using inversion methods, images can then be generated and spectrally unmixed to yield the biodistribution of reporter molecules and tissue biomarkers.
Light of different wavelengths is selected to target the absorption transient of the chromophore or fluorochrome, as selected for spectral differentiation.
Examples of preclinical MSOT applications: