Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Biomedical Optics Express


Thayer School of Engineering

Additional Department

Geisel School of Medicine


Ratiometric approaches to quantifying molecular concentrations have been used for decades in microscopy, but have rarely been exploited in vivo until recently. One dual-tracer approach can utilize an untargeted reference tracer to account for non-specific uptake of a receptor-targeted tracer, and ultimately estimate receptor binding potential quantitatively. However, interpretation of the relative dynamic distribution kinetics is confounded by differences in local tissue absorption at the wavelengths used for each tracer. This study simulated the influence of absorption on fluorescence emission intensity and depth sensitivity at typical near-infrared fluorophore wavelength bands near 700 and 800 nm in mouse skin in order to correct for these tissue optical differences in signal detection. Changes in blood volume [1-3%] and hemoglobin oxygen saturation [0-100%] were demonstrated to introduce substantial distortions to receptor binding estimates (error > 30%), whereas sampled depth was relatively insensitive to wavelength (error < 6%). In response, a pixel-by-pixel normalization of tracer inputs immediately post-injection was found to account for spatial heterogeneities in local absorption properties. Application of the pixel-based normalization method to an in vivo imaging study demonstrated significant improvement, as compared with a reference tissue normalization approach.