Imaging modalities based on vibrational spectroscopy (Raman or mid-IR imaging) have demonstrated high label-free chemical specificity for different biomolecules. Nevertheless, conventional mid-IR microscopy have been limited mostly to dry tissues and fixed cells due to the strong mid-IR absorption of water and due to the use of conventional negative-contrast detection. We introduce positive-contrast Mid-infraRed Optoacoustic Microscopy (MiROM) for label-free metabolic imaging in living cells. We showcase the unique capabilities of MiROM in living cells by monitoring the spatiotemporal distribution of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in adipocytes during lipogenesis as well as monitoring the lipid-protein dynamics in brown and white adipocytes during lipolysis. We discuss how MiROM yields unique label-free metabolic imaging abilities for a broader range of bioanalytical studies in living cells and its potential for analytical histology in unprocessed tissues.
We present the investigation of in vivo small model organisms, which are well established in biological and biomedical research, using a hybrid multiphoton and optoacoustic microscope (HyMPOM). The unique capabilities of HyMPOM for multimodal and potentially label-free signal acquisition, high resolution, as well as deep and fast imaging allow extraction of detailed information across large areas of living tissue on the microscale. Applying HyMPOM to living zebrafish-like fish larvae allowed exploration of the structural composition of the entire brain, including the brain vasculature and the neuronal network. Applying HyMPOM to the ears of living mice enabled accurate imaging of vasculature, connective tissue, keratinocytes, and sebaceous glands. The hybrid microscope proposed here constitutes a novel approach to explore small model organisms in vivo in great detail by revealing the spatial distribution and interplay of various tissue compartments on the microscale.
Optoacoustic microscopy (OAM) has enabled high-resolution, label-free imaging of tissues at depths not achievable with purely optical microscopy. However, widespread implementation of OAM into existing epi-illumination microscopy setups is often constrained by the performance and size of the commonly used piezoelectric ultrasound detectors. In this work, we introduce a novel acoustic detector based on a π-phase-shifted fiber Bragg grating (π-FBG) interferometer embedded inside an ellipsoidal acoustic cavity. The cavity enables seamless integration of epi-illumination OAM into existing microscopy setups by decoupling the acoustic and optical paths between the microscope objective and the sample. The cavity also acts as an acoustic condenser, boosting the sensitivity of the π-FBG and enabling cost effective CW-laser interrogation technique. We characterize the sensor’s sensitivity and bandwidth and demonstrate hybrid OAM and second-harmonic imaging of phantoms and mouse tissue in vivo.
Carotid atheromatosis is causally related to stroke, a leading cause of disability and death. We present the analysis of a human carotid atheroma using a novel hybrid microscopy system that combines optical-resolution optoacoustic (photoacoustic) microscopy and several non-linear optical microscopy modalities (second and third harmonic generation, as well as, two-photon excitation fluorescence) to achieve a multimodal examination of the extracted tissue within the same imaging framework. Our system enables the label-free investigation of atheromatous human carotid tissue with a resolution of about 1 μm and allows for the congruent interrogation of plaque morphology and clinically relevant constituents such as red blood cells, collagen, and elastin. Our data reveal mutual interactions between blood embeddings and connective tissue within the atheroma, offering comprehensive insights into its stage of evolution and severity, and potentially facilitating the further development of diagnostic tools, as well as treatment strategies.