Scientific Results

Thermal Transitions of Fibrillar Collagen Unveiled by Second-Harmonic Generation Microscopy of Corneal Stroma

Year: 2012

Authors: Matteini P., Cicchi R., Ratto F., Kapsokalyvas D., Rossi F., de Angelis M., Pavone FS., Pini R.

Autors Affiliation: Institute of Applied Physics ‘‘Nello Carrara’’, National Research Council, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy;
National Institute of Optics, National Research Council, Florence, Italy;
LENS, European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy

Abstract: The thermal transitions of fibrillar collagen are investigated with second-harmonic generation polarization anisotropy microscopy. Second-harmonic generation images and polarization anisotropy profiles of corneal stroma heated in the 35-80 degrees C range are analyzed by means of a theoretical model that is suitable to probe principal intramolecular and interfibrillar parameters of immediate physiological interest. Our results depict the tissue modification with temperature as the interplay of three destructuration stages at different hierarchical levels of collagen assembly including its tertiary structure and interfibrillar alignment, thus supporting and extending previous findings. This method holds the promise of a quantitative inspection of fundamental biophysical and biochemical processes and may find future applications in real-time and postsurgical functional imaging of collagen-rich tissues subjected to thermal treatments.

Journal/Review: BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL

Volume: 103 (6)      Pages from: 1179  to: 1187

More Information: This work has been partially supported by the FP7 NoE Photonics 4 Life and by the NANO-CHROM Project of the Health Board of Tuscany.
DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2012.07.055

Citations: 28
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English