Diffuse optical localization imaging for noninvasive deep brain microangiography in the NIR-II window

Quanyu Zhou, Zhenyue Chen, Justine Robin, Xosé Luís Deán-Ben, Daniel Razansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Fluorescence microscopy is a powerful enabling tool for biological discovery, albeit its effective penetration depth and resolving capacity are limited due to intense light scattering in living tissues. The recently introduced short-wave infrared cameras and contrast agents featuring fluorescence emission in the second near-infrared (NIR-II) window have extended the achievable penetration to about 2 mm. However, the effective spatial resolution progressively deteriorates with depth due to photon diffusion. Here we introduce diffuse optical localization imaging (DOLI) to enable super-resolution deep-tissue fluorescence microscopy beyond the limits imposed by light diffusion. The method is based on localization of flowing microdroplets encapsulating lead sulfide (PbS)-based quantum dots in a sequence of epi-fluorescence images acquired in the NIR-II spectral window. Experiments performed in tissue mimicking phantoms indicate that high-resolution detection of fluorescent particles can be preserved over 4 mm depth range, while in vivo microangiography of murine cerebral vasculature can be accomplished through intact scalp and skull. The method further enables retrieving depth information from planar fluorescence image recordings by exploiting the localized spot size. DOLI operates in a resolution-depth regime previously inaccessible with optical methods, thus massively enhancing the applicability of fluorescence-based imaging techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-803
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Diffuse optical localization imaging for noninvasive deep brain microangiography in the NIR-II window'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this