Towards Omni-Tomography-Grand Fusion of Multiple Modalities for Simultaneous Interior Tomography
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We recently elevated interior tomography from its origin in computed tomography (CT) to a general tomographic principle, and proved its validity for other tomographic modalities including SPECT, MRI, and others. Here we propose “omni-tomography”, a novel concept for the grand fusion of multiple tomographic modalities for simultaneous data acquisition in a region of interest (ROI). Omni-tomography can be instrumental when physiological processes under investigation are multi-dimensional, multi-scale, multi-temporal and multi-parametric. Both preclinical and clinical studies now depend on in vivo tomography, often requiring separate evaluations by different imaging modalities. Over the past decade, two approaches have been used for multimodality fusion: Software based image registration and hybrid scanners such as PET-CT, PET-MRI, and SPECT-CT among others. While there are intrinsic limitations with both approaches, the main obstacle to the seamless fusion of multiple imaging modalities has been the bulkiness of each individual imager and the conflict of their physical (especially spatial) requirements. To address this challenge, omni-tomography is now unveiled as an emerging direction for biomedical imaging and systems biomedicine.