Validating bioluminescence imaging as a high-throughput, Quantitative modality for assessing tumor burden

Zain Paroo, Robert A. Bollinger, Dwaine A. Braasch, Edmond Richer, David R. Corey, Peter P. Antich, Ralph P. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) is a highly sensitive tool for visualizing tumors, neoplastic development, metastatic spread, and response to therapy. Although BLI has engendered much excitement due to its apparent simplicity and ease of implementation, few rigorous studies have been presented to validate the measurements. Here, we characterize the nature of bioluminescence output from mice bearing subcutaneous luciferase-expressing tumors over a 4-week period. Following intraperitoneal or direct intratumoral administration of luciferin substrate, there was a highly dynamic kinetic profile of light emission. Although bioluminescence was subject to variability, strong correlations (r > .8, p < .001) between caliper measured tumor volumes and peak light signal, area under light signal curve and light emission at specific time points were determined. Moreover, the profile of tumor growth, as monitored with bioluminescence, closely resembled that for caliper measurements. The study shows that despite the dynamic and variable nature of bioluminescence, where appropriate experimental precautions are taken, single time point BLI may be useful for noninvasive, high-throughput, quantitative assessment of tumor burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Bioluminescent imaging
  • HeLa cells
  • Luciferase
  • Luciferin
  • Noninvasive imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Validating bioluminescence imaging as a high-throughput, Quantitative modality for assessing tumor burden'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this