In this study, we monitored the optical clearing effects by immersing ex vivo guinea pig cochlea samples in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to study the internal microstructures in the morphology of guinea pig cochlea. The imaging limitations due to the guinea pig cochlea structures were overcome by optical clearing technique. Subsequently, the study was carried out to confirm the required approximate immersing duration of cochlea in EDTA-based optical clearing to obtain the best optimal depth visibility for guinea pig cochlea samples. Thus, we implemented a decalcification-based optical clearing effect to guinea pig cochlea samples to enhance the depth visualization of internal microstructures using swept source optical coherence tomography (OCT). The obtained nondestructive two-dimensional OCT images successfully illustrated the feasibility of the proposed method by providing clearly visible microstructures in the depth direction as a result of decalcification. The most optimal clearing outcomes for the guinea pig cochlea were obtained after 14 consecutive days. The quantitative assessment results verified the increase of the intensity as well as the thickness measurements of the internal microstructures. Following this method, difficulties in imaging of internal cochlea microstructures of guinea pigs could be avoided. The obtained results verified that the depth visibility of the decalcified ex vivo guinea pig cochlea samples was enhanced. Therefore, the proposed EDTA-based optical clearing method for guinea pig can be considered as a potential application for depth-enhanced OCT visualization.
Jaeyul Lee, Jaewon Song, Mansik Jeon, and Jeehyun Kim, "The morphological changes of optically cleared cochlea using optical coherence tomography (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10039, Optical Imaging, Therapeutics, and Advanced Technology in Head and Neck Surgery and Otolaryngology, 1003904 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252445.5369914032001.
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