All blood vessels are lined with a single layer of endothelia cells which play a vital role in controlling the vessels in terms of blood flow, angiogenesis, vascular remodelling, response to pressure changes and blood borne chemical markers. Traditionally such responses to stimuli are examined in isolated cells, in a vascular preparation in which the vessels are opened up to lie flat or using relatively slow confocal or non-linear microscopy from the outside. We have developed a miniature probe that enables high speed, widefield imaging from within an intact pressurised vessel.
This presentation will discuss the development of a 750 micron diameter probe which views orthogonally to the main optical axis to provide sub-cellular resolution images of around 300 cells in an intact, curved artery with the ability to rapidly change focus. Results of the imaging performance will be presented along with the biological context illustrating how this novel imaging modality when coupled with computational modelling enabled a new insight into the biological signalling processes within an intact vessel. By combining this new imaging system with a novel image processing pipeline results will be presented illustrating that the response to certain agonists is affected by pressure and the changing shape of the cells controls this response during a pressure rise. The work illustrates the way that an interdisciplinary approach bringing together novel optics, image processing, computational simulation and biology can lead to insights in the life sciences.
John Girkin, Christopher D. Saunter, Calum Wilson, and John McCarron, "Widefield micro-optical probe and computer simulation enables new insights into vascular pressure sensing and signaling (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10504, Biophysics, Biology and Biophotonics III: the Crossroads, 1050404 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 15 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2288680.5752159314001.
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