Fluorescence imaging is an emerging field of imaging sciences that encompasses a diverse arena of methods and techniques utilized in biomedical research and clinical application. Fluorescence methods attain widespread use in the biomedical laboratory because light is an easily manipulated modality and the corresponding measurements or image formation can reveal highly diverse anatomical, physiological, and molecular features of the structure studied. Additional applications are found in the fields of biotechnology, genomics, proteomics, and systems biology, and there is increasing use of fluorescence methods for in vivo imaging of development, disease, and drug discovery.
Fluorescence imaging can be generally classified according to (i) the physical size of the object imaged and (ii) the contrast mechanism utilized in image formation. Microscopy is the most common optical imaging method for imaging thin tissue slices up to about a millimeter of depth or thickness. The resolution typically achieved is ...