Vocal fold scarring as a result of injury or disease can lead to voice disorders which can significantly affect the quality of life. During the scarring process, the normally elastic tissue of the vocal fold lamina propria is replaced by a much stiffer collagen-based fibrotic tissue, which impacts the fold’s ability to vibrate. Surgical removal of this tissue is often ineffective and can result in further scarring. Injectable biomaterials, a form of tissue engineering, have been proposed as a potential solution to reduce existing scars or prevent scarring altogether. In order to properly evaluate the effectiveness of these new materials, multiphoton microscopy emerges as an effective tool due to its intrinsic multiple label free contrast mechanisms that highlight extracellular matrix elements. In this study, we evaluate the spatial distribution of collagen and elastin fibers in a rabbit model using second harmonic generation (SHG), third harmonic generation (THG) and two photon autofluorescence (TPAF) applied to unlabeled tissue sections. In comparison to traditional methods that rely on histological staining or immunohistochemistry, SHG, THG and TPAF provide a more reliable detection of these native proteins. The evaluation of collagen levels allows us to follow the extent of scarring, while the presence of elastin fibers is thought to be indicative of the level of healing of the injured fold. Using these imaging modalities, we characterize the outcome of injectable biomaterial treatments in order to direct future treatments for tissue engineering.
Light sheet microscopy techniques have expanded with designs to address many new applications. Due to rapid advancements in computing power, camera/detector technologies, and tissue clearing techniques, light sheet methods are becoming increasingly popular for biomedical imaging applications at the cellular and tissue levels. Light sheet imaging modalities couple rapid imaging rates, low-levels of phototoxicity, and excellent signal to noise ratios, contributing to their popularity for experimental biology. However, the current major limitation of light sheet microscopy arises from optical aberrations, with the main drawback being the defocusing introduced by refractive index variations that accompany clearing techniques. Here, we propose an inexpensive and easy to build light sheet based instrumentation to overcome this limitation by optomechanically decoupling the sample scanning movement from the detection step. Our solution is relatively simple to implement and also provides increased modularity by using a swappable excitation arm. This expands the range of samples we can image on a single system, from high resolution for single cells at μm spatial resolution, to tissues with mm spatial resolution. We demonstrate our approach, using the system to image iDISCO cleared embryos and sciatic nerves, and provide the full three-dimensional reconstruction of these objects in minutes.