Premature infants are at a high risk for respiratory diseases owing to an underdeveloped respiratory system that is very susceptible to infection and inflammation. One aspect of respiratory health is the state of the ciliated respiratory epithelium which lines the trachea and bronchi. The ciliated epithelium is responsible for trapping and removing pathogens and pollutants from the lungs and an impairment of ciliary functionality can lead to recurring respiratory infections and subsequent lung damage. Mechanisms of cilia-driven fluid flow itself but also factors influenced by development like ciliary density and flow generation are incompletely understood. Furthermore, medical interventions like intubation and accidental aspiration can lead to focal or diffuse loss of cilia and disruption of flow. In this study we use two animal models, Xenopus embryo and ex vivo mouse trachea, to analyze flow defects in the injured ciliated epithelium. Injury is generated either mechanically with a scalpel or chemically by calcium chloride (CaCl2) shock, which efficiently but reversibly deciliates the embryo skin. In this study we used optical coherence tomography (OCT) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) to quantify cilia driven fluid flow over the surface of the Xenopus embryo. We additionally visualized damage to the ciliated epithelium by capturing 3D speckle variance images that highlight beating cilia. Mechanical injury disrupted cilia-driven fluid flow over the injured site, which led to a reduction in cilia-driven fluid flow over the whole surface of the embryo (n=7). The calcium chloride shock protocol proved to be highly effective in deciliating embryos (n=6). 3D speckle variance images visualized a loss of cilia and cilia-driven flow was halted immediately after application. We also applied CaCl2-shock to cultured ex vivo mouse trachea (n=8) and found, similarly to effects in Xenopus embryo, an extensive loss of cilia with resulting cessation of flow. We investigated the regeneration of the ciliated epithelium after an 8 day incubation period, and found that cilia had regrown and flow was completely restored. In conclusion, OCT is a valuable tool to visualize injury of the ciliated epithelium and to quantify reduction of generated flow. This method allows for systematic investigation of focal and diffuse injury of the ciliated epithelium and the assessment of mechanisms to compensate for loss of flow.
Ute A. Gamm, Brendan K. Huang, Emily K. Mis, Mustafa K. Khokha, and Michael A. Choma, "Quantification and visualization of injury and regeneration in the developing ciliated epithelium using quantitative flow imaging and speckle variance optical coherence tomography (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10043, Diagnosis and Treatment of Diseases in the Breast and Reproductive System, 100430O (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2255756.5370007610001.
Quantification and visualization of injury and regeneration in the developing ciliated epithelium using quantitative flow imaging and speckle variance optical coherence tomography (Conference Presentation)
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