3 March 2014 In vivo spectroscopic photoacoustic tomography imaging of a far red fluorescent protein expressed in the exocrine pancreas of adult zebrafish
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Fluorescent proteins brought a revolution in life sciences and biological research in that they make a powerful tool for researchers to study not only the structural and morphological information, but also dynamic and functional information in living cells and organisms. While green fluorescent proteins (GFP) have become a common labeling tool, red-shifted or even near infrared fluorescent proteins are becoming the research focus due to the fact that longer excitation wavelengths are more suitable for deep tissue imaging. In this study, E2-Crimson, a far red fluorescent protein whose excitation wavelength is 611 nm, was genetically expressed in the exocrine pancreas of adult zebrafish. Using spectroscopic all optical detection photoacoustic tomography, we mapped the distribution of E2-Crimson in 3D after imaging the transgenic zebrafish in vivo using two different wavelengths. With complementary morphological information provided by imaging the same fish using a spectral domain optical coherence tomography system, the E2-Crimson distribution acquired from spectroscopic photoacoustic tomography was confirmed in 2D by epifluorescence microscopy and in 3D by histology. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time a far red fluorescent protein is imaged in vivo by spectroscopic photoacoustic tomography. Due to the regeneration feature of zebrafish pancreas, this work preludes the longitudinal studies of animal models of diseases such as pancreatitis by spectroscopic photoacoustic tomography. Since the effective penetration depth of photoacoustic tomography is beyond the transport mean free path length, other E2-Crimson labeled inner organs will also be able to be studied dynamically using spectroscopic photoacoustic tomography.
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Mengyang Liu, Mengyang Liu, Nicole Schmitner, Nicole Schmitner, Michelle G. Sandrian, Michelle G. Sandrian, Behrooz Zabihian, Behrooz Zabihian, Boris Hermann, Boris Hermann, Willi Salvenmoser, Willi Salvenmoser, Dirk Meyer, Dirk Meyer, Wolfgang Drexler, Wolfgang Drexler, "In vivo spectroscopic photoacoustic tomography imaging of a far red fluorescent protein expressed in the exocrine pancreas of adult zebrafish", Proc. SPIE 8943, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2014, 894341 (3 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2037317; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2037317

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