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BL tomography October 3, 2007

Posted by tomography in Bioluminescence, Nuclear Medicine, Tomography, Uncategorized.

What is bioluminescence? Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism the result of a chemical reaction during which chemical energy is converted to light energy. Its name is a hybrid word, originating from the greek bios for “living” and the latin lumen “light”. Bioluminescence(BL) may be generated by symbiotic organisms carried within a larger organism. It is generated by an enzyme-catalyzed chemoluminescence reaction, wherein the pigment luciferin is oxidised by the enzyme luciferase.


Milky seas from space! (http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/~biolum/organism/milkysea.html)

„Molecular imaging using bioluminescence imaging(BLI) requires expression of an enzyme known as luciferase that is responsible for making some insects, jellyfish, and bacteria glow. The gene for this enzyme is incorporated into DNA of cells, micro-organism, or animal models of diease. If an appropriate substrate is available for the enzyme to act upon, the result is a reaction that emits a subtle glow of visible light called bioluminescence that can be used to monitor cellular and genetic activity of every cell that expresses the luciferase.”

„The peak wavelength of that glow for naturally occuring firefly luciferase eg. is at ~560nm; for bacterial luciferase is at ~490nm. Recently, luciferase genes isolated from insects and sea organism havebeen genetically modified to be efficiently expressed in mammalian cells.”

„In contrast, radionuclides of interest emit high-energy photons of very specific energies and the photons are emitted essentially one at a time (for SPECT) or in acoincident pair (for PET) as a result of decay of a single atomic nucleus. Thus, in radionuclide imaging, photons are detected and processed one at a time, buti n BLI, a continuous current of photons is collected (integrated) and processed in a single or multiple exposures of the optical camera sensor.”


„BL tomography? Unlike in PET and SPECT, the field of BLI up to now has mainly used single view, non-tomographic, planar-imaging to estimate the luciferase producing cell distribution within a mouse. Limitations of planar compared with tomographic imaging are: (1) planar images are superpositions of emission from all depths; (2)lack of precise depth localization; (3)strong depth-dependent resolution blurring; (4)lack of quantification due to significant photon attenuation. 3D BLI is needed because there are applications for which the BL surface radiance signal is weak from certain views, but stronger from others, and it is simply important to sample the signal from different projection angels.” – from the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine

Stop the spread of cancer…



Bioluminescence Genes Found Through Metagenomic Study Of Deep Mediterranean



Luciferase systems are widely used in the field of genetic engineering as reporter genes. Luciferase systems have also been harnessed for biomedical research using bioluminescence imaging.



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