Skip to main content

Data from: Deep-tissue optical imaging of near cellular-sized features

Cite this dataset

Dang, Xiangnan et al. (2019). Data from: Deep-tissue optical imaging of near cellular-sized features [Dataset]. Dryad.


Detection of biological features at the cellular level with sufficient sensitivity in complex tissue remains a major challenge. To appreciate this challenge, this would require finding tens to hundreds of cells (a 0.1 mm tumor has ~125 cells), out of ~37 trillion cells in the human body. Near-infrared optical imaging holds promise for high-resolution, deep-tissue imaging, but is limited by autofluorescence and scattering. To date, the maximum reported depth using second-window near-infrared (NIR-II: 1000–1700 nm) fluorophores is 3.2 cm through tissue. Here, we design an NIR-II imaging system, “Detection of Optically Luminescent Probes using Hyperspectral and diffuse Imaging in Near-infrared” (DOLPHIN), that resolves these challenges. DOLPHIN achieves the following: (i) resolution of probes through up to 8 cm of tissue phantom; (ii) identification of spectral and scattering signatures of tissues without a priori knowledge of background or autofluorescence; and (iii) 3D reconstruction of live whole animals. Notably, we demonstrate noninvasive real-time tracking of a 0.1 mm-sized fluorophore through the gastrointestinal tract of a living mouse, which is beyond the detection limit of current imaging modalities.

Usage notes