Research Topic

Applications of Cherenkov and Radioluminescence Imaging to Medicine and Biology

About this Research Topic

The use of Cherenkov radiation and radioluminescence imaging for biomedical research has grown significantly in the past 10 years. Nowadays, applications include preclinical molecular imaging, surgery, external beam radiotherapy, photodynamic therapy, etc.

The mechanism of Cherenkov radiation production is rather unique with respect to other and more commonly charged particles and matter interaction mechanisms. In this case, when a charged particle travels through a dielectric medium, the material becomes locally polarized, with the atoms comprising the medium behaving such as elementary dipoles. If the particle's speed exceeds that of the particle of light in the medium, the polarization field becomes asymmetric along the particle track producing a resultant dipole field at larger distances from the track. Interestingly, for a beta particle traveling in water, the energy threshold is equal to 261 keV. This relatively low value of energy threshold explains why Cherenkov imaging is gaining attention as a novel biomedical imaging tool.

Early works on Cherenkov luminescence imaging focused on the detection of Cherenkov radiation emitted by small animals injected with positron-emitting radiotracers. After these first attempts, there has been a significant bulk of work on the use of Cherenkov radiation as a novel dosimetry method for external beam radiotherapy. On the therapeutic side, it has been shown that the emission of Cherenkov light can be used as an internal source for photodynamic therapy avoiding the problem of tissue absorption. Cherenkov imaging has also been successfully applied to humans for the imaging of superficial organs or ex vivo tumor tissue from patients previously injected with clinically approved radiopharmaceuticals.

Due to such a wide spectrum of potential applications, papers are typically scattered across different journals. We believe it is essential to summarize the most important research lines in this Research Topic. Our main goal is to provide a unified view in order to stimulate further knowledge exchange and cross-fertilization among the different research areas.

We welcome both Original Research and Review article types around the following research areas, that may include but are not limited to:
- Preclinical Cherenkov imaging of novel radiotracers
- Cherenkov luminescence image-guided surgery
- Cherenkov luminescence tomography
- Cherenkov radiation and nanoparticles
- Radiotherapy dosimetry using Cherenkov and radioluminescence imaging
- Monte Carlo simulations for Cherenkov and radioluminescence imaging
- Photodynamic therapy using Cherenkov radiation.


Topic Editor Brian W. Pogue holds patents related to Optical Tomography and is the CEO and co-founder of DoseOptics LLC. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: Cherenkov luminescence imaging, Radioluminescence imaging, Preclinical imaging, Radiotherapy dosimetry, Image-guided surgery


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The use of Cherenkov radiation and radioluminescence imaging for biomedical research has grown significantly in the past 10 years. Nowadays, applications include preclinical molecular imaging, surgery, external beam radiotherapy, photodynamic therapy, etc.

The mechanism of Cherenkov radiation production is rather unique with respect to other and more commonly charged particles and matter interaction mechanisms. In this case, when a charged particle travels through a dielectric medium, the material becomes locally polarized, with the atoms comprising the medium behaving such as elementary dipoles. If the particle's speed exceeds that of the particle of light in the medium, the polarization field becomes asymmetric along the particle track producing a resultant dipole field at larger distances from the track. Interestingly, for a beta particle traveling in water, the energy threshold is equal to 261 keV. This relatively low value of energy threshold explains why Cherenkov imaging is gaining attention as a novel biomedical imaging tool.

Early works on Cherenkov luminescence imaging focused on the detection of Cherenkov radiation emitted by small animals injected with positron-emitting radiotracers. After these first attempts, there has been a significant bulk of work on the use of Cherenkov radiation as a novel dosimetry method for external beam radiotherapy. On the therapeutic side, it has been shown that the emission of Cherenkov light can be used as an internal source for photodynamic therapy avoiding the problem of tissue absorption. Cherenkov imaging has also been successfully applied to humans for the imaging of superficial organs or ex vivo tumor tissue from patients previously injected with clinically approved radiopharmaceuticals.

Due to such a wide spectrum of potential applications, papers are typically scattered across different journals. We believe it is essential to summarize the most important research lines in this Research Topic. Our main goal is to provide a unified view in order to stimulate further knowledge exchange and cross-fertilization among the different research areas.

We welcome both Original Research and Review article types around the following research areas, that may include but are not limited to:
- Preclinical Cherenkov imaging of novel radiotracers
- Cherenkov luminescence image-guided surgery
- Cherenkov luminescence tomography
- Cherenkov radiation and nanoparticles
- Radiotherapy dosimetry using Cherenkov and radioluminescence imaging
- Monte Carlo simulations for Cherenkov and radioluminescence imaging
- Photodynamic therapy using Cherenkov radiation.


Topic Editor Brian W. Pogue holds patents related to Optical Tomography and is the CEO and co-founder of DoseOptics LLC. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: Cherenkov luminescence imaging, Radioluminescence imaging, Preclinical imaging, Radiotherapy dosimetry, Image-guided surgery


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

09 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

09 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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