The understanding of alveolar mechanics is an essential step towards new and more protective ventilation strategies which are of dare need for the treatment of diseases of lung tissue and the airways. Such ailments become a major task for medical care and health care systems in modern industrial countries in the future. Besides the obvious importance as life-saving intervention, the mechanical strain and processes on the level of gas exchange are still insufficiently understood. Therefore, it is of great interest to characterize lung tissue and tissue dynamics during artificial ventilation at the alveolar level. 4D Optical coherence tomography (OCT) in combination with high-speed video microscopy (IVM) are promising tools for the investigation and characterization of lung tissue with a high spatial and temporal resolution in artificially ventilated rats. Optical access to the subpleural alveoli is achieved by removing the skin and tissue between the ribs. For IVM, a tunable focus lens is used to track axial motion and keep the tissue in focus and 4D OCT is performed using a gated scanning algorithm for image acquisition. The movement of alveolar tissue during uninterrupted ventilation was visualized during one ventilation cycle using these image acquisition techniques. The alveolar structures are clearly visible and can be segmented and measured regarding volume and volume changes. The measurement of three-dimensional volume changes during uninterrupted ventilation from OCT data and the comparison with two-dimensional information from IVM promote the understanding of alveolar mechanics and the effort for the development of more protective ventilation strategies.
Christian Schnabel and Edmund Koch, "Multimodal imaging of lung tissue dynamics in mechanically ventilated rats with optical coherence tomography and intravital microscopy (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10470, Endoscopic Microscopy XIII, 1047007 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 27, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2289475.5751463152001.
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