As optoacoustic tomography (OT) emerges as a mainstream pre-clinical imaging modality, understanding the relationship between optoacoustic and other imaging biomarkers in the context of the underlying tissue biology becomes vitally important. Complementary insight into tumour vasculature and hypoxia can be gained using OT alongside magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based techniques. To evaluate the relationship between these metrics and the relative performance of the two modalities in assessment of tumour physiology, co-registration of their output imaging data is required. Unfortunately, this poses a significant challenge due to differences in animal positioning during imaging. Here, we present an integrated framework for registration of OT and MR image data in mice. Our framework combines a novel MR animal holder, to improve animal positioning during imaging, and a landmark-based software co-registration algorithm. We demonstrate that our protocol significantly improves registration of both body and tumour contours between these modalities, enabling more precise multi-modal tumour characterisation.

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