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22 February 2018 Multiphoton microscopy of ECM proteins in baboon aortic leaflet
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The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays crucial role in defining mechanical properties of a heart valve yet the mechanobiological role of the ECM proteins – collagen and elastin - in living heart valve leaflets is still poorly understood. In this study, non-linear microscopy was used to obtain three dimensional images of collagen and elastin arrangement in aortic leaflets under combined steady flow (850 ml/min) and cyclic flexure (1 Hz) mechanical (dynamic) training. A novel bioreactor capable of mimicking the flow conditions in a living heart was used in this study and was optimized for microscopic imagery. A custom made non-linear microscope was used in this study to provide Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) imaging of collagen arrangement and two-photon imaging of elastin. Two control and three trained leaflet samples from static and dynamic tissue culture were imaged to observe protein changes in the tissue for a period of seven days. Dynamic training led to a decrease in alignment index of the protein fibers compared to the static treatment.
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Mariacarla Gonzalez, Ilyas Saytashev, Camila Luna, Brittany Gonzalez, Alejandro Pinero, Manuel Perez, Sharan Ramaswamy, and Jessica Ramella-Roman "Multiphoton microscopy of ECM proteins in baboon aortic leaflet", Proc. SPIE 10471, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications of Light in Cardiology 2018, 104710Y (22 February 2018);

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