2009 Volume 58 Issue 7 Pages 487-497
Imaging has been used as an effective research tool in many fields. In recent years, “molecular imaging” has come to attract a major attention as it studies molecular events in living animals and humans. Variety of modalities is used in molecular imaging, sometimes in combination, and the machines and techniques are going through rapid progress. Two of popular modalities among them are fluorescence imaging and radioisotope (RI) imaging such as positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission tomography (SPECT). Fluorescence imaging provides rich selection in imaging probes and the resolution can reach into sub-cellular level. RI imaging, especially PET, is superior to the others in quantitative analysis and the direct applicability to humans. In this article the two imaging modalities are overviewed comparing their characteristics.