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Automated Quantification of Bioluminescence Images

By November 2, 2018No Comments

We developed a computer-aided analysis tool for quantitatively determining bioluminescent reporter distributions inside small animals. The core innovations are a body-fitting animal shuttle and a statistical mouse atlas, both of which are spatially aligned and scaled according to the animal’s weight, and hence provide data congruency across animals of varying size and pose. In conjunction with a multispectral bioluminescence tomography technique capitalizing on the spatial framework of the shuttle, the in vivo biodistribution of luminescent reporters can rapidly be calculated and, thus, enables operator-independent and computer-driven data analysis. We demonstrate its functionality by quantitatively monitoring a bacterial infection, where the bacterial organ burden was determined and validated with the established serial-plating method. In addition, the statistical mouse atlas was validated and compared to existing techniques providing an anatomical reference. The proposed data analysis tool promises to increase data throughput and data reproducibility and accelerate human disease modeling in mice.