16 January 2010

Watching body tissue collapse

Second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging is a powerful microscopy technique, which is particularly well suited to analyze connective tissues like cornea, due to the significant second order nonlinear susceptibility of its main molecular component, i.e. fibrillar collagen. This confers high contrast and specificity to the SHG images, which, together with the intrinsically noninvasive nature of this technique, further enhances its potential to become a clinical tool to perform imaging on ex vivo biopsies as well as on living subjects.

P4L researchers from CnR IFAC in Florence and ICFO in Barcelona together with medical cluster partners LENS and Prato Hospital now aim to monitor corneal diseases by coupling the advanced features of SHG imaging with different strategies of image analysis. In the first step they identified suitable models of disordered cornea. These include mimetic scaffolds at different rate of organization and corneal stroma samples heated at increasing temperature values or subjected to laser irradiation, in order to produce different destructuration patterns in the extracellular matrix arrangement. At the same time the scientists also improved the SHG microscopy platforms by integration with a polarization setup and optimization of the incoming irradiation light. This step was followed by the acquisition of SHG images of the cornea samples. Right now the team around Prof. Roberto Pini from Florence is now developing different analytical strategies based on image processing algorithms and theoretical models in order to investigate collagen arrangement at different rates of tissue organization and extrapolate structural data at the molecular level. The proposed strategies will then be applied to the acquired SHG data, evaluated and integrated in a multianalytical and sensible tool, which will find application in the minimally invasive live-imaging of pathologic, accidental and surgical-induced disordered states of connective tissue.

Round Robin Experiment

Raman spectroscopy has already proved its effectiveness in many cases for medical diagnostics such as for cancer, cardiovascular diseases and infections. However, there are no standards in the different working groups, e.g. for sample preparation, implementation of the Raman experiments, spectra pre-treatment, data evaluation, etc.In a round robin experiment, the required groundwork will take place in order to define standardised Raman measurement methods, which will be fundamental for establishing Raman spectroscopy for clinical diagnostic procedures.

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5th International Conference on Biophotonics

20 March 2017

Continuing the success of the previous meetings held in Sacramento, Ottawa, Jena, and Florence, the 5th conference will come to Perth, Western Australia, running over two full days, and back-to-back with the Science on the Swan medical research conference, which delegates are strongly encouraged to also attend, at discounted rates. [more]

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