Significance: Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy is an important method for metastasis staging in, e.g., patients with malignant melanoma. Tools enabling prompt histopathological analysis are expected to facilitate diagnostics; optical technologies are explored for this purpose.
Aim: The objective of this exploratory study was to investigate the potential of adopting multiphoton laser scanning microscopy (MPM) together with fluorescence lifetime analysis (FLIM) for the examination of lymph node (LN) tissue ex vivo.
Approach: Five LN tissue samples (three metastasis positive and two negative) were acquired from a biobank comprising tissues from melanoma patients. Tissues were deparaffinized and subjected to MPM-FLIM using an experimental MPM set-up equipped with a time correlated single photon counting module enabling FLIM.
Results: The data confirm that morphological features similar to conventional histology were observed. In addition, FLIM analysis revealed elevated morphological contrast, particularly for discriminating between metastatic cells, lymphocytes, and erythrocytes.
Conclusions: Taken together, the results from this investigation show promise for adopting MPM-FLIM in the context of SLN diagnostics and encourage further translational studies on fresh tissue samples.
Ti:Sapphire lasers are powerful tools in the field of scientific research and industry for a wide range of applications such as spectroscopic studies and microscopic imaging where tunable near-infrared light is required. To push the limits of the applicability of Ti:Sapphire lasers, fundamental understanding of the construction and operation is required. This paper presents two projects, (i) dealing with the building and characterization of custom built tunable narrow linewidth Ti:Sapphire laser for fundamental spectroscopy studies; and the second project (ii) the implementation of a fs-pulsed commercial Ti:Sapphire laser in an experimental multiphoton microscopy platform.
For the narrow linewidth laser, a gold-plated diffraction grating with a Littrow geometry was implemented for highresolution wavelength selection. We demonstrate that the laser is tunable between 700 to 950 nm, operating in a pulsed mode with a repetition rate of 1 kHz and maximum average output power around 350 mW. The output linewidth was reduced from 6 GHz to 1.5 GHz by inserting an additional 6 mm thick etalon. The bandwidth was measured by means of a scanning Fabry Perot interferometer.
Future work will focus on using a fs-pulsed commercial Ti:Sapphire laser (Tsunami, Spectra physics), operating at 80 MHz and maximum average output power around 1 W, for implementation in an experimental multiphoton microscopy set up dedicated for biomedical applications. Special focus will be on controlling pulse duration and dispersion in the optical components and biological tissue using pulse compression. Furthermore, time correlated analysis of the biological samples will be performed with the help of time correlated single photon counting module (SPCM, Becker&Hickl) which will give a novel dimension in quantitative biomedical imaging.
A novel approach for optical biosensing can be obtained based multiphoton induced luminescence (MIL) and its dependence on plasmonic coupling. It has been shown that the proximity of spherical AuNPs determines the generation of MIL in far-field multiphoton laser scanning microscopy (MPM). A stimuli responsive contrast mediator with high sensitivity can be created by controlling the aggregated state of AuNP. In this study we explore a system based on spherical AuNPs functionalized with β-cyclodextrin and multiple β-D-lactose units (lacto-CD-AuNP). The aim of the β- D-lactose units is to target cancer cells, based on overexpression of galectin3 (Gal-3) receptors. The results demonstrate that clustering of particles, and thereby MIL signal, was only acquired from tumor cell lines, i.e., SK-MEL-28 and A431, while not from normal keratinocytes (HEKn). Thus further studies should be undertaken to translate the concept to a preclinical setting.
Antimicrobial resistance is a serious global threat fueling an accelerated field of research aimed at developing novel antimicrobial therapies. A particular challenge is the treatment of microbial biofilms formed upon bacterial growth and often associated with chronic infections. Biofilms comprise bacteria that have adhered to a surface and formed 3D microcolonies, and demonstrate significantly increased antimicrobial resistance compared to the planktonic counterpart. A challenge in developing novel strategies for fighting these chronic infections is a lack of mechanistic understanding of what primarily contributes to enhanced drug resistance. Tools for noninvasive study of live biofilms are necessary to begin to understand these mechanisms on both a single cell and 3D level.
Herein, a method by which multiphoton microscopy is implemented to study a biofilm model of Staphylococcus epidermidis to noninvasively visualize and measure penetration of compounds in 3D biofilm structure and two photon excitation was exploited for spatially confined photoinactivation and microscopy optimized for evaluation of microbiological viability at a microscopic level. Future studies are aimed at future development of the proposed techniques for detailed studies of, e.g., quorum sensing and mechanisms contributing to antimicrobial resistance.