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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Polarization birefringence measurements for characterizing the myocardium, including healthy, infarcted, and stem-cell-regenerated tissues
Author(s): Michael F. G. Wood; Nirmalya Ghosh; Marika A. Wallenburg; Shu-Hong Li; Richard D. Weisel; Brian C. Wilson; Ren-Ke Li; I. Alex Vitkin

Paper Abstract

Myocardial infarction leads to structural remodeling of the myocardium, in particular to the loss of cardiomyocytes due to necrosis and an increase in collagen with scar formation. Stem cell regenerative treatments have been shown to alter this remodeling process, resulting in improved cardiac function. As healthy myocardial tissue is highly fibrous and anisotropic, it exhibits optical linear birefringence due to the different refractive indices parallel and perpendicular to the fibers. Accordingly, changes in myocardial structure associated with infarction and treatment-induced remodeling will alter the anisotropy exhibited by the tissue. Polarization-based linear birefringence is measured on the myocardium of adult rat hearts after myocardial infarction and compared with hearts that had received mesenchymal stem cell treatment. Both point measurement and imaging data show a decrease in birefringence in the region of infarction, with a partial rebound back toward the healthy values following regenerative treatment with stem cells. These results demonstrate the ability of optical polarimetry to characterize the micro-organizational state of the myocardium via its measured anisotropy, and the potential of this approach for monitoring regenerative treatments of myocardial infarction.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2010
PDF: 9 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 15(4) 047009 doi: 10.1117/1.3469844
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 15, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Michael F. G. Wood, Ontario Cancer Institute (Canada)
Nirmalya Ghosh, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (India)
Marika A. Wallenburg, Ontario Cancer Institute (Canada)
Shu-Hong Li, Ontario Cancer Institute (Canada)
Richard D. Weisel, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
Brian C. Wilson, Ontario Cancer Institute (Canada)
Ren-Ke Li, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)
I. Alex Vitkin, Univ. of Toronto (Canada)

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