Multispectral opto-acoustic tomography of deep-seated fluorescent proteins in vivo

Daniel Razansky, Martin Distel, Claudio Vinegoni, Rui Ma, Norbert Perrimon, Reinhard W. Köster, Vasilis Ntziachristos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

598 Scopus citations


Fluorescent proteins have become essential reporter molecules for studying life at the cellular and sub-cellular level, re-defining the ways in which we investigate biology. However, because of intense light scattering, most organisms and tissues remain inaccessible to current fluorescence microscopy techniques at depths beyond several hundred micrometres. We describe a multispectral opto-acoustic tomography technique capable of high-resolution visualization of fluorescent proteins deep within highly light-scattering living organisms. The method uses multiwavelength illumination over multiple projections combined with selective-plane opto-acoustic detection for artifact-free data collection. Accurate image reconstruction is enabled by making use of wavelength-dependent light propagation models in tissue. By performing whole-body imaging of two biologically important and optically diffuse model organisms, Drosophila melanogaster pupae and adult zebrafish, we demonstrate the facility to resolve tissue-specific expression of eGFP and mCherrry fluorescent proteins for precise morphological and functional observations in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-417
Number of pages6
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009


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