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  • January 2013

Optics InfoBase > Spotlight on Optics > Combination of spectral and fluorescence imaging microscopy for wide-field in vivo analysis of microvessel blood supply and oxygenation


Combination of spectral and fluorescence imaging microscopy for wide-field in vivo analysis of microvessel blood supply and oxygenation

Published in Optics Letters, Vol. 38 Issue 3, pp.332-334 (2013)
by Jennifer A. Lee, Raymond T. Kozikowski, and Brian S. Sorg

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Spotlight summary: Abnormalities in tissue microvasculature and angiogenesis are characteristic of a wide variety of disease pathologies including diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. In normal tissue, tissue homeostasis is maintained through a steady blood supply, which has the dual purposes of providing adequate nutrients and removing byproducts from the tissue. In diseased tissues, such as cancer, microvessel formation is often irregular leaving some tissues with decreased blood flow that results in hypoxia. Methodologies to characterize tissue blood flow and oxygenation are necessary to further understand and characterize disease as well as study the effects of treatment strategies. Currently there are a number of imaging modalities to analyze tumor microvasculature in small animal models. Optical imaging is well suited to studying tissue blood oxygenation as hemoglobin absorption provides endogenous contrast. However, blood flow is more difficult to differentiate by optical imaging modalities, unless exogenous contrast is utilized.

In the current study by Lee et al., the authors use hyperspectral imaging to determine hemoglobin oxygenation status from the endogenous absorption spectra of blood within the microvessels. This technique is combined with administration of exogenous near infrared (NIR) fluorescent liposomes, termed first pass fluorescence (FPF) imaging, to detect the entrance of the NIR fluorophores into the microcirculation. FPF imaging provides information about blood flow, microvessel morphology, and microvessel network connections through measurement of the blood supply time within the field of view. These imaging modalities were used together to study the microvasculature development of human renal cell carcinoma tumors implanted in mouse dorsal skinfold window chamber models. Microvasculature development was monitored over a four-day time period following tumor implantation in the window chamber. Using both hyperspectal imaging and FPF imaging both the increased speed of blood flow and oxygenation status of the tumor tissue could be seen by the fourth day of imaging. This combined imaging technique also demonstrated insight into how vascular malformations such as ateriovenous shunts create an oxygenated environment in which an immature tumor can proliferate. Since this technique enables serial imaging over multiple days it may be useful for studying therapeutic methods to normalize diseased tissue vasculature in the future.

--Summer Gibbs



Technical Division: Optics in Biology and Medicine
ToC Category: Medical Optics and Biotechnology
OCIS Codes: (170.0110) Medical optics and biotechnology : Imaging systems
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(180.2520) Microscopy : Fluorescence microscopy
(300.6280) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, fluorescence and luminescence


Posted on January 28, 2013

Reader Comments

05/12/2013 3:12 AM posted by Thalangunam Krishnaswamy S.

Any studies related to a malignant tumorous growth resulting from blood vessels of diseased tissue combining both NIR and FPF imaging?.How does it vary in the case of a benign tumorous cell study?


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