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A review of imaging techniques for systems biology

Armen R Kherlopian1, Ting Song2, Qi Duan2, Mathew A Neimark2, Ming J Po2, John K Gohagan3 and Andrew F Laine24*

Author affiliations

1 Physiology, Biophysics and Systems Biology Program, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA

2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

3 Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, US National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

4 Department of Radiology, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Systems Biology 2008, 2:74  doi:10.1186/1752-0509-2-74

Published: 12 August 2008


This paper presents a review of imaging techniques and of their utility in system biology. During the last decade systems biology has matured into a distinct field and imaging has been increasingly used to enable the interplay of experimental and theoretical biology. In this review, we describe and compare the roles of microscopy, ultrasound, CT (Computed Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), PET (Positron Emission Tomography), and molecular probes such as quantum dots and nanoshells in systems biology. As a unified application area among these different imaging techniques, examples in cancer targeting are highlighted.