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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Label-free photoacoustic microscopy of peripheral nerves
Author(s): Thomas P. Matthews; Chi Zhang; Da-Kang Yao; Konstantin I. Maslov; Lihong V. Wang
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Paper Abstract

Peripheral neuropathy is a common neurological problem that affects millions of people worldwide. Diagnosis and treatment of this condition are often hindered by the difficulties in making objective, noninvasive measurements of nerve fibers. Photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) has the ability to obtain high resolution, specific images of peripheral nerves without exogenous contrast. We demonstrated the first proof-of-concept imaging of peripheral nerves using PAM. As validated by both standard histology and photoacoustic spectroscopy, the origin of photoacoustic signals is myelin, the primary source of lipids in the nerves. An extracted sciatic nerve sandwiched between two layers of chicken tissue was imaged by PAM to mimic the in vivo case. Ordered fibrous structures inside the nerve, caused by the bundles of myelin-coated axons, could be observed clearly. With further technical improvements, PAM can potentially be applied to monitor and diagnose peripheral neuropathies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 January 2014
PDF: 6 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 19(1) 016004 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.19.1.016004
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 19, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas P. Matthews, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Chi Zhang, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Da-Kang Yao, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Konstantin I. Maslov, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)
Lihong V. Wang, Washington Univ. in St. Louis (United States)

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