Preclinical Optical Imaging to Study Pathogenesis, Novel Therapeutics and Diagnostics Against Orthopaedic Infection

John M. Thompson, Lloyd S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Preclinical in vivo optical imaging includes bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and fluorescence imaging (FLI), which provide noninvasive and longitudinal monitoring of biological processes in an in vivo context. In vivo BLI involves the detection of photons of light from bioluminescent bacteria engineered to naturally emit light in preclinical animal models of infection. Meanwhile, in vivo FLI involves the detection of photons of a longer emission wavelength of light after exposure of a fluorophore to a shorter excitation wavelength of light. In vivo FLI has been used in preclinical animal models to detect fluorescent-labeled host proteins or cells (often in engineered fluorescent reporter mice) to understand host-related processes, or to detect injectable near-infrared fluorescent probes as a novel approach for diagnosing infection. This review describes the use of in vivo optical imaging in preclinical models of orthopaedic implant-associated infection (OIAI), including (i) pathogenesis of the infectious course, (ii) monitoring efficacy of antimicrobial prophylaxis and therapy and (iii) evaluating novel near-infrared fluorescent probes for diagnosing infection. Finally, we describe optoacoustic imaging and fluorescence image-guided surgery, which are recent technologies that have the potential to translate to diagnosing and treating OIAI in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2269-2277
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • bioluminescence
  • fluorescence
  • imaging
  • infection
  • optical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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