UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Imaging Collagen in Scar Tissue: Developments in Second Harmonic Generation Microscopy for Biomedical Applications Mostaço-Guidolin, Leila; Rosin, Nicole L.; Hackett, Tillie-Louise


The ability to respond to injury with tissue repair is a fundamental property of all multicellular organisms. The extracellular matrix (ECM), composed of fibrillar collagens as well as a number of other components is dis-regulated during repair in many organs. In many tissues, scaring results when the balance is lost between ECM synthesis and degradation. Investigating what disrupts this balance and what effect this can have on tissue function remains an active area of research. Recent advances in the imaging of fibrillar collagen using second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging have proven useful in enhancing our understanding of the supramolecular changes that occur during scar formation and disease progression. Here, we review the physical properties of SHG, and the current nonlinear optical microscopy imaging (NLOM) systems that are used for SHG imaging. We provide an extensive review of studies that have used SHG in skin, lung, cardiovascular, tendon and ligaments, and eye tissue to understand alterations in fibrillar collagens in scar tissue. Lastly, we review the current methods of image analysis that are used to extract important information about the role of fibrillar collagens in scar formation.

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