Reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) and multiphoton microscopy (MPM) are non-invasive methods of acquiring morphological images of the skin in vivo. Most research in this area focuses on instruments that are configured for two-dimensional imaging in a horizontal plane parallel to the skin surface. In contrast, conventional histopathologic evaluation of the skin is based on vertical tissue sections that show microscopic features and their interrelationships according to their depth within the skin. The ability to similarly depict the skin in the vertical plane during in vivo microscopic imaging poses several significant challenges with respect to imaging speed, resolution and extractable information. Aiming to address above challenges, we developed a laser scanning multimodal microscopy system which combines RCM and MPM, and has the ability to do fast xz scanning to achieve high resolution vertical “optical sectioning” of in vivo human skin at video rates. RCM and MPM images are obtained simultaneously and co-registered thereby providing complementary morphological information. To validate the performance of this system vertical section RCM and MPM microscopic images of normal human skin in vivo were obtained at half video rates (15 frames/s). Using our system it is possible to discern the following structures: all layers of the epidermis including the stratum lucidum, the dermal-epidermal junction, and the papillary dermis. Blood flow is also visible as evidenced by blood cell movement within vessels. The effective imaging depth is about 200 micrometers. This system provides a means of interrogating human skin noninvasively at an orientation analogous to conventional histological sectioning.
Zhenguo Wu, Yunxian Tian, Jianhua Zhao, Harvey Lui, David I. McLean, and Haishan Zeng, "In vivo multimodality video microscopy of human skin in the vertical plane (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9689, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics XII, 96890Y (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 14, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212091.4828143241001.
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