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1 July 2009 Confocal microscopy for automatic texture analysis of elastic fibers in histologic preparations
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Elastic fibers are an important component of many organs and tissues, such as skin, lungs, arteries, ligaments, intervertebral discs and cartilage Their function is to endow tissues with elastic recoil and resilience, to act as an important adhesion template for cells, and to regulate growth factor availability (1,2). Loss or remodeling of the elastic fiber texture occurs in many diseases. Degeneration and fragmentation of elastic fibers and aging are intimately related (3). Recently, the importance of elastin for the study of malignant tumor progression has been emphasized (4,5). Elastic tissue may be a significant reservoir of angiostatic molecules and soluble elastin as well as elastin peptides, that are inhibitors of the metastatic process in experimental tumor models (4). Elastic fibers are involved in the anatomic remodeling of chronic pulmonary diseases (6) and, especially, of diseases of the arterial wall (7, 8). The study of these phenomena is important for the understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of the diseases. Recently the role of elastic fibers in small diameter vascular graft design has been emphasized (2). The possibility to regenerate or engineer elastic fibres and tissues creates an important challenge, not only to understand the molecular basis of elastic-fibre biology (1,2), but also of its spatial arrangement and remodeling in the diseased tissues. Subtle changes of the complex elastic fiber network may be involved in the pathogenesis of diseases. Therefore a precise and objective histopathologic description is necessary.
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R. L. Adam, G. Vieira, D. P. Ferro, A. A. de Thomaz, C, L. Cesar, and K. Metze "Confocal microscopy for automatic texture analysis of elastic fibers in histologic preparations", Proc. SPIE 7367, Advanced Microscopy Techniques, 73671O (1 July 2009);

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