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12 February 2009 Polarized light based birefringence measurements for monitoring myocardial regeneration
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Myocardial infarction leads to remodeling of the myocardium, resulting in a deterioration of cardiac function. This remodeling involves changes in the extracellular matrix, particularly an increase in collagen. Recently developed stem cell based regenerative treatments have been shown to reduce myocardial remodeling and collagen formation after infarction leading to an improvement in overall cardiac function. However, this emerging field is in dire need of biomarkers to monitor the progress and success of these treatments. Collagen is a fibrous protein and exhibits birefringence due to different refractive indices parallel and perpendicular to the direction of the fibers. As a result, changes in the collagen content and organization in the myocardium should lead to changes in birefringence. Birefringence measurements were made through ex vivo myocardial tissues from rats with induced myocardial infarctions including a number that had undergone regenerative treatment with mesenchymal stem cells. Results show a decrease in birefringence from normal to infracted myocardium, indicating a decrease in tissue organization associated with scar formation, however, an increase in birefringence was seen in those myocardial tissues that had undergone regenerative treatment indicating reorganization of tissue structure. These results demonstrate promise for this technique and are motivating further work towards performing measurements in vivo.
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Michael F. G. Wood, Nirmalya Ghosh, Shu-Hong Li, Richard D. Weisel, Brian C. Wilson, Ren-Ke Li, and I. Alex Vitkin "Polarized light based birefringence measurements for monitoring myocardial regeneration", Proc. SPIE 7179, Optics in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine III, 717908 (12 February 2009);


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