Embryos undergo dramatic changes in size, shape, and mechanical properties during development, which is regulated by both genetic and environmental factors. Quantifying mechanical properties of different embryonic tissues may represent good metrics for the embryonic health and proper development. Alternations and structure coupled with biomechanical information may provide a way for early diagnosis and drug treatment of various congenital diseases. Many methods have been developed to determine the mechanical properties of the embryo, such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), ultrasound elastography (UE), and optical coherent elastography (OCE). However, AFM is invasive and time-consuming. While UE and OCE are both non-invasive methods, the spatial resolutions are limited to mm to sub-mm, which is not enough to observe the details inside the embryo. Brillouin microscopy can potentially enable non-invasive measurement of the mechanical properties of a sample by measuring the spectra of acoustically induced light scattering therein. It has fast speed (~0.1 second per point) and high resolution (sub-micron), and thus has been widely investigated for biomedical application, such as single cell and tissue. In this work, we utilized this technique to characterize the mechanical property of an embryo. A 2D elasticity imaging of the whole body of an E8 embryo was acquired by a Brillouin microscopy, and the stiffness changes between different organs (such as brain, heart, and spine) were shown. The elasticity maps were correlated with structural information provided by OCT.
Jitao Zhang, Chen Wu, Raksha Raghunathan, Kirill V. Larin, and Giuliano Scarcelli, "Non-invasive structural and biomechanical imaging of the developing embryos (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10067, Optical Elastography and Tissue Biomechanics IV, 100670W (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 30, 2017; Published: 24 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2255871.5380018841001.
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