7.6.5 Short application description
In vivo imaging techniques were developed to receive images of the human body or parts thereof for medical purposes. As a medical discipline it comprises nuclear medicine, endoscopy, nuclear magnetic imaging, positron emission tomography, ultrasound reflection mode and near infrared imaging techniques.
The in vivo molecular cell and tissue analysis could only be facilitated by a rapid progress in the field of image generation technologies, sensor biotechnology, and computational modelling. These technologies allow to observe the detailed functions of single cells, organs, and whole organisms and to monitor i.e. tumour development or basic cell development processes.
To investigate basic questions of in vivo tumour development and progression, fluorescence based imaging techniques were developed to allow new insights into molecular targets. The design of novel fluorescent dyes emitting in the near infrared range (NIR) in combination with sensitive detector systems and monochromatic powerful NIR-lasers enables the quantification and imaging in deeper tissues. Furthermore, laser based techniques in the NIR-range (like two-photon microscopy) offer extremely high signal to noise ratios, and thus the possibility to observe molecular targets in vivo.
Currently, there are only three iron nanoparticle-containing contrast agents used in nuclear magnetic imaging on the market.
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