The health of the tracheal mucosa and submucosa is a vital yet poorly understood component of critical care medicine, and a minimally-invasive method is needed to monitor tracheal health in patients. Of particular interest are the ciliated cells of the tracheal epithelium that move mucus away from the lungs and prevent respiratory infection. Optical metabolic imaging (OMI) allows cellular-level measurement of metabolism, and is a compelling method for assessing tracheal health because ciliary motor proteins require ATP to function. In this pilot study, we apply multiphoton imaging of the fluorescence intensities and lifetimes of metabolic co-enzymes NAD(P)H and FAD to the mucosa and submucosa of ex vivo mouse trachea. We demonstrate the feasibility and potential diagnostic utility of these measurements for assessing tracheal health and pathophysiology at the single-cell level.
Joe T. Sharick, Daniel A. Gil, Michael A. Choma, and Melissa C. Skala, "Optical metabolic imaging for monitoring tracheal health," Proc. SPIE 9711, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues IX, 971108 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 6 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212779.
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