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22 February 2006 Spectroscopic analysis of skin intrinsic signals for multiphoton microscopy
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We recorded multiphoton images of human skin biopsies using endogenous sources of nonlinear optical signals. We detected simultaneously two-photon excited fluorescence (2PEF) from intrinsic fluorophores and second harmonic generation (SHG) from collagen. We observed SHG from fibrillar collagens in the dermis, whereas no SHG was detectable from the non fibrillar type IV collagen in the basal laminae. We compared these distinct behaviours of collagens I and IV in SHG microscopy to polarization-resolved surface SHG experiments on thin films of collagens I and IV molecules. We observed similar signals for both types of molecular films, except for the chiroptical contributions which are present only for collagen I and enhance the signal typically by a factor of 2. We concluded that SHG microscopy is a sensitive probe of the micrometer-scale structural organization of collagen in biological tissues. In order to elucidate the origin of the endogenous fluorescence signals, we recorded 2PEF spectra at various positions in the skin biopsies, and compared these data to in vitro spectroscopic analysis. In particular, we studied the keratin fluorescence and determined its 2PEF action cross section. We observed a good agreement between 2PEF spectra recorded in the keratinized upper layers of the epidermis and in a solution of purified keratin. Finally, to illustrate the capabilities of this technique, we recorded 2PEF/SHG images of skin biopsies obtained from patients of various ages.
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Ana-Maria Pena, Mathias Strupler, Thierry Boulesteix, Karim Senni, Gaston Godeau, Emmanuel Beaurepaire, and Marie-Claire Schanne-Klein "Spectroscopic analysis of skin intrinsic signals for multiphoton microscopy", Proc. SPIE 6078, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics II, 607801 (22 February 2006);

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