Non-healing ulcerative wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers, are challenging to diagnose and treat due to their numerous possible etiologies and the variable efficacy of advanced wound care products. Thus, there is a critical need to develop new quantitative biomarkers and diagnostic technologies that are sensitive to wound status in order to guide care. The objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of label-free multiphoton microscopy for characterizing wound healing dynamics in vivo and identifying potential differences in diabetic wounds. We isolated and measured an optical redox ratio of FAD/(NADH+FAD) autofluorescence to provide three-dimensional maps of local cellular metabolism. Using a mouse model of wound healing, in vivo imaging at the wound edge identified a significant decrease in the optical redox ratio of the epidermis (p≤0.0103) between Days 3 through 14 compared to Day 1. This decrease in redox ratio coincided with a decrease in NADH fluorescence lifetime and thickening of the epithelium, collectively suggesting a sensitivity to keratinocyte hyperproliferation. In contrast to normal wounds, we have found that keratinocytes from diabetic wounds remain in a proliferative state at later time points with a lower redox ratio at the wound edge. Microstructural organization and composition was also measured from second harmonic generation imaging of collagen and revealed differences between diabetic and non-diabetic wounds. Our work demonstrates label-free multiphoton microscopy offers potential to provide non-invasive structural and functional biomarkers associated with different stages of skin wound healing, which may be used to detect delayed healing and guide treatment.
Jake D. Jones, Fariah Majid, Hallie Ramser, and Kyle P. Quinn, "Non-invasive in vivo characterization of skin wound healing using label-free multiphoton microscopy (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10037, Photonics in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, 100370P (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251535.5369935381001.
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