Optical Techniques in Regenerative Medicine

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Calcium plays an important role in this system, as its signals regulate a number of activities within the cell, from growth and metabolism to homeostasis. Related: Low-level light stirs in vivo stem cells to regenerate tissue Yubin Zhou, Ph. This system can control the transcription of genes within the body with high precision—it can dictate how, when, and where genes create proteins that perform various cellular functions. CaRROT uses a pulse of light or chemicals that can induce the flow of calcium ions into cells, which Zhou says should allow scientists to turn on or off a diverse array of genes at any location by switching the light or adding or withdrawing activating compounds.

To evaluate how effective CaRROT is in mammalian cells, the team will test it on genes that control the differentiation of neuron and skeletal muscle. They hope that they can use CaRROT in regenerative medicine to drive the precise differentiation of stem cells into whatever type of organ is required, just by illuminating the cells with light.

Training Activities - Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine Program - University at Buffalo

With light shining upon cells in the 'excitable' tissues such as the nervous and cardiovascular systems, calcium influx through gateways on the membrane of the cell, called voltage-gated calcium channels, can be turned off. These channels, which constitute the major route of calcium entry into the cell, regulate a series of physiological processes. Because their dysfunction is involved in many diseases, they are considered an important therapeutic target for cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Traditional calcium-channel blockers approved by the U. FDA have been widely used to treat cardiovascular disorders, including high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and coronary artery disease. However, these drugs tend to cause side effects—including headache, edema, dangerously low blood pressure, and palpitations—because of their cytotoxicity and off-target effects.

Best Candidate for Stem Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Techniques?

Recognizing this, the research team's optogenetic tool provides a non-conventional method to interrogate physiological and pathophysiological processes medicated by these voltage-gated calcium channels, Zhou says. The method, called optical coherence refraction tomography, could improve medical images obtained in the OCT imaging industry for medical fields ranging from cardiology to oncology.

Optotek Medical specializes in developing optical and laser solutions for medical applications.

Optogenetic tools have implications for regenerative medicine

The optical imaging system cancels the chromatic optical aberrations present in a specific person's eye, allowing for a more accurate assessment of vision and eye health. These anatomical indications add to the previously existing esophageal applications for the OCT imaging system. The handheld instrument performs real-time Raman spectroscopy measurements of normal brain tissue, cancerous tissue, and in areas around the tumor. The pain relief device, which can be used at home, combines radio frequency, infrared technologies, and low-level laser therapy.


The technique uses ultrasound to noninvasively take optical images through a turbid medium such as biological tissue to image the body's organs. The approval allows the company to commercialize its laser ablation technology in the European Union and Switzerland, giving women an alternative to surgery for early-stage breast cancer and benign breast tumors. Gladdish ; Brandon D. Markway Show Abstract. An important issue in the development of cultured tissues is the alignment of the cells within the scaffold, or on the substrate.

Proper alignment leads to optimum tissue strength and it has been demonstrated that proper alignment is engendered by application of physiologically realistic stresses during the cell proliferation process. In situ monitoring of cell alignment during development can provide important feedback information in determining the optimum stresses. Numerical calculations suggest that cell aspect and orientation can be inferred from the polarization of the light scattered by these cells.

In this paper, we demonstrate that a measurement of the wavelength-dependent depolarization of the light scattered from the cell layer reveals the alignment of these cells. We present results of experimental measurements on human umbilical vein endothelial cells HUVEC's layered onto glass cover slips and of simulations using T -matrix methods.

Rotating orthogonal polarization imaging for tissue imaging Author s : Stephen P. Morgan ; Qun Zhu; Ian M. Stockford; John A. Crowe Show Abstract. Rotating orthogonal polarization imaging of tissue consists of illumination in a single polarization state and detection in the orthogonal state. Synchronously rotating the illumination and orthogonal detection provides an image that is free from surface reflections and is sensitive to the polarization properties of the underlying tissue.

Tissue phantom results are presented which demonstrate that a polarizing target can be detected at a depth of 17 mean free paths within a scattering medium. The results have been validated using a polarization sensitive Monte Carlo simulation. Femtosecond laser multiphoton tomography has been employed in the field of tissue engineering to perform 3D high-resolution imaging of the extracellular matrix proteins elastin and collagen as well as of living cells without any fixation, slicing, and staining.

Near infrared 80 MHz picojoule femtosecond laser pulses are able to excite the endogenous fluorophores NAD P H, flavoproteins, melanin, and elastin via a non-resonant two-photon excitation process.

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In addition, collagen can be imaged by second harmonic generation. Using a two-PMT detection system, the ratio of elastin to collagen was determined during optical sectioning. A high submicron spatial resolution and 50 picosecond temporal resolution was achieved using galvoscan mirrors and piezodriven focusing optics as well as a time-correlated single photon counting module with a fast microchannel plate detector and fast photomultipliers.

Multiphoton tomography has been used to optimize the tissue engineering of heart valves and vessels in bioincubators as well as to characterize artificial skin. Stem cell characterization and manipulation are of major interest for the field of tissue engineering. Using the novel sub femtosecond multiphoton nanoprocessing laser microscope FemtOgene , the differentiation of human stem cells within spheroids has been in vivo monitored with submicron resolution.

In addition, the efficient targeted transfection has been demonstrated. Clinical studies on the interaction of tissue-engineered products with the natural tissue environment can be performed with in vivo multiphoton tomograph DermaInspect. Optically characterizing vascular tissue constructs made with soluble versus homogenized collagen Author s : David Levitz ; Monica T.

New Bioengineering Breakthroughs and Enabling Tools in Regenerative Medicine

Hinds; Noi T. Tran; Stephen R. Hanson; Steven L. Jacques Show Abstract. The ability of optical imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography OCT to non-destructively characterize tissue-engineered constructs has generated enormous interest recently. We are testing the hypothesis that OCT data can be used to characterize the cellularity of collagen-based vascular constructs made from 2 types of collagen scaffold matrix: soluble collagen and homogenized collagen. The disk-shaped constructs were allowed to remodel and compact in the incubator for 96 hours.

OCT imaging of the constructs occurred at 24 hour intervals.

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From the OCT data, the attenuation and reflectivity were evaluated by fitting the data to a theoretical model that relates the tissue optical properties scattering coefficient and anisotropy factor and imaging conditions to the OCT signal. The fitted optical properties were compared to the construct volume. Our data showed that the optical properties of the solubilized constructs changed over time while those of the homogenized constructs did not, in agreement with the histology and compaction observations. Imaging stented tissue engineered blood vessel mimics Author s : Garret T.

Bonnema ; Kristen O. Cardinal; Stuart K.

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Williams; Jennifer K. Barton Show Abstract. An ideal vascular stent design promotes a thin anti-thrombogenic cellular lining while avoiding restenosis. To assess the utility of their designs, stent manufactures often use destructive techniques such as scanning electron microscopy to measure the percentage of the stent covered with a cellular lining.

Stents were deployed within twelve mimics after days of development in bioreactors. OCT images were acquired within the bioreactor at several time points after the stent deployment. At days post deployment, the mimics were fixed and imaged volumetrically with OCT. Matlab software was developed to automatically calculate the percent cellular coverage from the OCT images. Algorithm results were compared to similar measurements performed with bis-benzimide BBI fluorescence imaging and manually calculated percent coverage from three different observers of the OCT images.

Progressive accumulation of cellular material on the stents could be visualized with OCT. Good agreement was found between the OCT-based measurements and the other techniques. OCT together with automated software can provide an accurate, non-destructive measurement of the percent cellular coverage of vascular stents.

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In situ monitoring of localized shear stress and fluid flow within developing tissue constructs by Doppler optical coherence tomography Author s : Yali Jia ; Pierre O. Bagnaninchi ; Ruikang K. Wang Show Abstract. Mechanical stimuli can be introduced to three dimensional 3D cell cultures by use of perfusion bioreactor.