Ischemic reperfusion injuries (IRIs) are caused by return of blood to a tissue or organ after a period without oxygen or nutrients. Damage in the microvasculature causes an inflammatory response and heterogeneous scarring, which is associated with an increase in collagen in the extracellular matrix. Although most often associated with heart attacks and strokes, IRI also occurs when blood reperfuses a transplanted organ. Currently, monitoring for IRI is limited to biopsies, which are invasive and sample a limited area. In this work, we explored photoacoustic (PA) biomarkers of scarring. IRI events were induced in mice (n=2) by clamping the left renal artery, then re-establishing flow. At 53 days post-surgery, kidneys were saline perfused and cut in half laterally. One half was immediately imaged with a VevoX system (Fujifilm-VisualSonics, Toronto) in two near infrared ranges - 680 to 970 nm (NIR), and 1200 to 1350 nm (NIR II). The other half was decellularized and then imaged at NIR and NIR II. Regions of interest were manually identified and analyzed for each kidney. For both cellularized and decellularized samples, the PA signal ratio based on irradiation wavelengths of 715:930 nm was higher in damaged kidneys than for undamaged kidneys (p < 0.0001 for both). Damaged kidneys had ROIs with spectra indicating the presence of collagen in the NIR II range, while healthy kidneys did not. Collagen rich spectra were more apparent in decellularized kidneys, suggesting that in the cellularized samples, other components may be contributing to the signal. PA imaging using spectral ratios associated with collagen signatures may provide a non-invasive tool to determine areas of tissue damage due to IRIs.
Elizabeth S. L. Berndl, Xiaolin He, Darren A. Yuen, and Michael C. Kolios, "Spectroscopic photoacoustics for assessing ischemic kidney damage," Proc. SPIE 10494, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2018, 104940T (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2018; Published: 19 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2291199.
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