Ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate among all gynecologic cancers due to predominantly late diagnosis. Early detection of ovarian cancer can increase 5-year survival rates from 40% up to 92%, yet no reliable early detection techniques exist. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an emerging technique that provides depthresolved, high-resolution images of biological tissue in real time and demonstrates great potential for imaging of ovarian tissue. Mouse models are crucial to quantitatively assess the diagnostic potential of OCT for ovarian cancer imaging; however, due to small organ size, the ovaries must rst be separated from the image background using the process of segmentation. Manual segmentation is time-intensive, as OCT yields three-dimensional data. Furthermore, speckle noise complicates OCT images, frustrating many processing techniques. While much work has investigated noise-reduction and automated segmentation for retinal OCT imaging, little has considered the application to the ovaries, which exhibit higher variance and inhomogeneity than the retina. To address these challenges, we evaluated a set of algorithms to segment OCT images of mouse ovaries. We examined ve preprocessing techniques and six segmentation algorithms. While all pre-processing methods improve segmentation, Gaussian filtering is most effective, showing an improvement of 32% +/- 1.2%. Of the segmentation algorithms, active contours performs best, segmenting with an accuracy of 0.948 +/- 0.012 compared with manual segmentation (1.0 being identical). Nonetheless, further optimization could lead to maximizing the performance for segmenting OCT images of the ovaries.
Early detection of metastatic cancer can reduce patient mortality and decrease cost of cancer treatment. However, current methods of prognosis or genetic screening are expensive and might not be applicable to all tumors. Although previous studies indicated that cancer cells are glycolytic, the link between metabolism and metastatic progression is not fully understood. To better understand the tumor bioenergetics, we investigated in vivo the vascular oxygenation, glucose intake, and optical redox ratio between a metastatic breast cancer cell line (4T1), a non-metastatic isogenic cell line (168FARN), and a non-metastatic derivative of 4T1 (TWIST gene knockout). The vascular oxygenation was measured by injecting 10,000 cells into mouse dorsal window chambers and acquiring and processing trans-illumination images of the tumor from 520 nm-620 nm light wavelength in 10 nm intervals. Glucose intake was measured by continuous fluorescent imaging of the glucose analog, 2-NBDG, for 90 minutes. Optical redox ratio was measured by intrinsic fluorescence imaging of electron carrying intermediates, NADH and FAD, where an increase in the ratio (FAD/FAD+NADH) meant increased oxidative phosphorylation. Our data show that the optical redox ratio and vascular oxygenation are higher and glucose intake is lower in metastatic tumors compared to non-metastatic tumors, suggesting that metastatic tumors display decreased glycolysis and increased oxidative phosphorylation. We observed a similar trend in vitro, where the redox ratio increased as the cell metastatic potential increased, indicating that metastatic cells can efficiently produce energy. These findings indicate that optical redox ratio can be a potential prognosis tool for detecting malignant tumors.
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) can assess brain function non-invasively by detecting changes in blood hemoglobin concentrations associated with neural activity with tasks like Posner’s paradigm (concerning response inhibition and attention shifts).
To develop a possible noninvasive objective neuroimaging protocol with a wearable wireless device for assessment of brain activities in children with Tourette syndrome.
Children aged 6-15 years, with TS or healthy control, received functional NIRS (task-based) with the Posner paradigm after informed consent and neuropsychiatric tests (including WISC-IV test, SNAP-IV rating scale, Yale Global Tic Severity Scale Score). Behavioral data (reaction time and error rates (omission, anticipation, orientation) and NIRS data for neural changes by changes in oxy-hemoglobin and deoxy-hemoglobin levels were recorded and statistically analyzed using the SPSS software.
20 subjects were included, 13 male and 7 female (mean age: 9.79 years; all right-handed). No significant differences in reaction time and error rate between Tourette subjects and control. For the NIRS data, more dominant activation at left prefrontal area with increasing flow with task was seen in control subjects while no dominant activation or flow increase with task was noted in Tourette subjects.
NIRS with prefrontal channels with the wearable wireless device can effectively assess the frontal activation differences and thus probably act as promising neurofeedback tools for TS or other developmental disorders like autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Biodynamic imaging (BDI) is capable of capturing the intracellular dynamics of blastocysts within a relatively short time. Spectroscopic signatures of embryos in the 0.01 Hz - 1 Hz range display responses to external factors before morphology changes take place. Viability evaluation is consistent with results from other non-invasive methods. Biodynamic imaging is a potential tool for selecting high quality embryos in clinical IVF practices.
Hemodynamic load, contractile forces, and tissue elasticity are regulators of cardiac development and contribute to the mechanical homeostasis of the developing vertebrate heart. Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a prevalent condition in the United States that affects 8 in 1000 live births, and has been linked to disrupted cardiac biomechanics[2-4]. Therefore, it is important to understand how these forces integrate and regulate vertebrate cardiac development to inform clinical strategies to treat CHD early on by reintroducing proper mechanical load or modulating downstream factors that rely on mechanical signalling. Toward investigation of biomechanical regulation of mammalian cardiovascular dynamics and development, our methodology combines live mouse embryo culture protocols, state-of-the-art structural and functional Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy, and computational analysis. Using these approaches, we assess functional aspects of the developing heart and characterize how they coincide with a determinant of tissue stiffness and main constituent of the extracellular matrix (ECM)—type I collagen. This work is bringing us closer to understanding how cardiac biomechanics change temporally and spatially during normal development, and how it regulates ECM to maintain mechanical homeostasis for proper function.
Accurate methods for determining metastatic risk from the primary tumor are crucial for patient survival. Cell metabolism could potentially be used as a marker of metastatic risk. Optical imaging of the endogenous fluorescent molecules nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) provides a non-destructive and label-free method for determining cell metabolism. The optical redox ratio (FAD/FAD+NADH) is sensitive to the balance between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). We have previously established that hypoxia-reoxygenation stress leads to metastatic potential-dependent changes in optical redox ratio. The objective of this study was to monitor the changes in optical redox ratio in breast cancer cells in response to different periods of hypoxic stress as well various levels of hypoxia to establish an optimal protocol. We measured the optical redox ratio of highly metastatic 4T1 murine breast cancer cells under normoxic conditions and after exposure to 30, 60, and 120 minutes of 0.5% O2. This was followed by an hour of reoxygenation. We found an increase in the optical redox ratio following reoxygenation from hypoxia for all durations. Statistically significant differences were observed at 60 and 120 minutes (p˂0.01) compared with normoxia, implying an ability to adapt to OXPHOS after reoxygenation. The switch to OXPHOS has been shown to be a key promoter of cell invasion. We will present our results from these investigations in human breast cancer cells as well as non-metastatic breast cancer cells exposed to various levels of hypoxia.