Label-free Tissue Imaging

Label-freie Multiphotonen Mikroskopie von humanem Colon-Gewebe
Figure 1: Label-free imaging of human colon mucosa with multiphoton microscopy. Epithelial cells (green), collagen fibers (blue) und immune cells (red) are visible.

Label-free Imaging of the Colon Mucosa

Multiphoton microscopy allows a three-dimensional imaging of the colon mucosa without adding any fluorescent dyes as contrast agents. Epithelial cells (illustrated in green in Figure 1) and immune cells (red) can be visualized through their autofluorescence, which can be separated in distinct color channels. Infiltration with immune cells is a key criterion for clinical assessment of tissue modifications in the context of tumors or chronic inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s disease.  Moreover, the extracellular matrix protein collagen (blue) can be visualized without dyes, which allows studying new formation of collagen in fibroses. Since our studies on tissue biopsies yielded very promising results, we are currently approaching the miniaturization of this technology in order to pursue a long term goal of a translation to routine clinical endoscopy.