chapter  56
20 Pages

Fluorescent Probes in Biomedical Applications

Optical imaging techniques for the assessment of tissue anatomy, physiology, and metabolic and molecular function have emerged as an essential tool for both the basic researcher and the clinical practitioner. One concern of clinical practitioners is that too much harmful radiation is used to detect diseased tissue. The attractiveness of optical imaging techniques arises from the fact that fluorescent dyes can be detected at low concentrations and nonionizing, harmless radiation can be applied repeatedly to the patient. Furthermore, the remarkable progress in the development of optical instrumentation in the last two decades (laser excitation and detection systems) has decisively contributed to the growing applicability of optical imaging techniques, which have the advantage of being cheap, small in size, and, therefore, readily at hand to solve clinical problems. The design of contrast agents for optical

in vivo

imaging of diseased tissues has also emerged and is reflected by an increasing number of publications in this area.