To understand the mechanisms of important lipid-related biological processes and diseases, it is highly demanded to study the dynamics of lipids in living biological system with high spatiotemporal resolution. However, in vivo quantitative analysis of lipid synthesis and lipolysis has been technically difficult to achieve by conventional lipid extraction and fluorescent staining methods. Recently, SRS microscopy has emerged as a powerful tool to probe small molecules with alkyne (C≡C) or deuterium (C-D) labeling in cell-silent region. The Raman tags have been used for the quantitative study of lipids in cells. In this study, we investigated metabolic dynamics of lipid droplets (LDs) by tracing the alkyne-tagged fatty acid 17-ODYA and deuterium-labeled saturated and unsaturated fatty acids PA-D<sub>31</sub> & OA-D<sub>34</sub> in living C. elegans. Specifically, we developed a hyperspectral SRS microscope system for LDs characterization. The system can sequentially excite and probe the stimulated Raman scattering-induced CH<sub>2</sub> stretching of endogenous lipids information (2863 cm-1), C≡C stretching from 17-ODYA (2125 cm<sup>-1</sup>) and C-D stretching from deuterium-labeled fatty acids (2117 cm<sup>-1</sup>). We first examined the concentration levels of fatty acids in E. coli OP50. Two major lipid metabolic processes, namely uptake and turnover, were further studied in adult C. elegans. We imaged alkyne-tagged and deuterated fatty acids using SRS and traced their uptake, transportation, incorporation and turnover over time. Additionally, several other treatments including starvation were also conducted to study their effects on metabolic dynamics of pulse labeled 17-ODYA, PA-D<sub>31</sub> and OA-D<sub>34</sub>.
Macrophages are essential for the regeneration of skeletal muscle after injury. It has been demonstrated that depletion of macrophages results in delay of necrotic fiber phagocytosis and decreased size of regenerated myofibers. In this work, we developed a multi-modal two-photon microscope system for in vivo study of macrophage activities in the regenerative and fibrotic healing process of injured skeletal muscles. The system is capable to image the muscles based on the second harmonic generation (SHG) and two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) signals simultaneously. The dynamic activities of macrophages and muscle satellite cells are recorded in different time windows post the muscle injury. Moreover, we found that infiltrating macrophages emitted strong autofluorescence in the injured skeletal muscle of mouse model, which has not been reported previously. The macrophage autofluorescence was characterized in both spectral and temporal domains. The information extracted from the autofluorescence signals may facilitate the understanding on the formation mechanisms and possible applications in biological research related to skeletal muscle regeneration.