MSOT uses the photoacoustic principle I explained in a previous blog entry. With this technique one is able to visualize in vivo cellular events with high sensitivity, at a resolution of 100 micrometers. It has a big advantage of being able to visualize physiology and anatomy at the same time without combining two different technologies. It is also a portable technique. It can be used for molecular imaging, biomarkers, and it allows the use of contrast agents. It is currently used in small animal imaging and it can be very helpful in studies of drug development.
Its usefulness is however limited by its inability to penetrate tissue as well some other older technologies such as PET.
In my opinion this is new and revolutionary technology because of its high resolution and the ability to evaluate in vivo processes. It will be very useful in evaluating the mechanism of action of a drug, side effects of a drug in detail, pharmacodynamics, etc.
A good paper in this topic is-
Ntziachristos, V etal. Molecular Imaging by means of Mutispectral Optoacustic Tomography (MSOT); Chem Rev 2010, 110, 2783-2794
Adolfo Cotter, MD