Scientific Results

Diffusion of optical clearing agents in skin studied by two-photon microscopy

Year: 2006

Authors: Cicchi R., Pavone FS., Massi D., Stambouli D., Sampson D.D.

Autors Affiliation: LENS, Department of Physics, University of Florence, Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy; Department of Human Pathology and Oncology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Western Australia, Australia

Abstract: We report the effects on two-photon excitation microscopy of applying optical clearing agents to human skin tissue samples. We demonstrate that the agents glycerol, propylene glycol and glucose in aqueous solution are all effective in enhancing penetration depth (by up to a factor of 2) and in increasing image contrast (by up to a factor of 90 at 80 µm depth) in 150 µm thick sections. We analysed the dynamics of the clearing process, by developing a simple theoretical model based on the free diffusion of the agent into the tissue. In experiments employing simultaneous two-photon excitation and second harmonic generation microscopy similar contrast was produced. A preliminary measurement of the clearing effect on a bulk skin sample is also presented. All three agents are potentially biocompatible and effective in reducing scattering; hence, in improving light penetration depth and image contrast. As such, they could be suitable for in vivo application in two-photon microscopy, as well as in other techniques performing optical biopsy of human skin tissue.

Conference title: Photonics West – BIOS 2006
Place: San Francisco, US

KeyWords: Image contrast; Optical clearing agents; Two-photon excitation; Two-photon microscopy, Biopsy; Diffusion; Glucose; Glycerol; Microscopic examination; Second harmonic generation; Skin, Biomedical engineering
DOI: 10.1117/12.696954

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