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Tackling standardization in fluorescence molecular imaging

Nature Photonicsvolume 12pages505515 (2018) | Download Citation


The emerging clinical use of targeted fluorescent agents heralds a shift in intraoperative imaging practices that overcome the limitations of human vision. However, in contrast to established radiological methods, no appropriate performance specifications and standards have been established in fluorescence molecular imaging. Moreover, the dependence of fluorescence signals on many experimental parameters and the use of wavelengths ranging from the visible to short-wave infrared (400–1,700 nm) complicate quality control in fluorescence molecular imaging. Here, we discuss the experimental parameters that critically affect fluorescence molecular imaging accuracy, and introduce the concept of high-fidelity fluorescence imaging as a means for ensuring reliable reproduction of fluorescence biodistribution in tissue.

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We thank A. Ghazaryan for help with optoacoustic measurements. V.N. acknowledges funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 687866 (INNODERM) and from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Germany (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz Prize 2013; NT 3/10-1).

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Author notes

  1. These authors contributed equally to this work: Maximillian Koch, Panagiotis Symvoulidis.


  1. Chair for Biological Imaging, TranslaTUM, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany

    • Maximillian Koch
    • , Panagiotis Symvoulidis
    •  & Vasilis Ntziachristos
  2. Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany

    • Maximillian Koch
    • , Panagiotis Symvoulidis
    •  & Vasilis Ntziachristos


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Competing interests

After the completion of the manuscript, but before the final submission, Bracco Imaging Deutschland, a company commercializing targeted fluorescence imaging, employed M.K.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vasilis Ntziachristos.

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