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- The integration of computational methods and nonlinear multiphoton multimodal microscopy imaging for the analysis of unstained human and animal tissues
- Murashova, Gabrielle Alyse
- Electronic Theses & Dissertations
Nonlinear multiphoton multimodal microscopy (NMMM) used in biological imaging is a technique that explores the combinatorial use of different multiphoton signals, or modalities, to achieve contrast in stained and unstained biological tissues. NMMM is a nonlinear laser-matter interaction (LMI), which utilizes multiple photons at once (multiphoton processes, MP). The statistical probability of multiple photons arriving at a focal point at the same time is dependent on the two-photon absorption ...
Show moreNonlinear multiphoton multimodal microscopy (NMMM) used in biological imaging is a technique that explores the combinatorial use of different multiphoton signals, or modalities, to achieve contrast in stained and unstained biological tissues. NMMM is a nonlinear laser-matter interaction (LMI), which utilizes multiple photons at once (multiphoton processes, MP). The statistical probability of multiple photons arriving at a focal point at the same time is dependent on the two-photon absorption (TPA) cross-section of the molecule being studied and is incredibly difficult to satisfy using typical incoherent light, say from a light bulb. Therefore, the stimulated emission of coherent photons by pulsed lasers are used for NMMM applications in biomedical imaging and diagnostics.In this dissertation, I hypothesized that due to the near-IR wavelength of the Ytterbium(Yb)-fiber laser (1070 nm), the four MP-two-photon excited fluorescence (2PEF), second harmonic generation (SHG), three-photon excited fluorescence (3PEF) and third harmonic generation (THG), generated by focusing this ultrafast laser, will provide contrast to unstained tissues sufficient for augmenting current histological staining methods used in disease diagnostics. Additionally, I hypothesized that these NMMM images (NMMMIs) can benefit from computational methods to accurately separate their overlapping endogenous MP signals, as well as train a neural network for image classification to detect neoplastic, inflammatory, and healthy regions in the human oral mucosa. Chapter II of this dissertation explores the use of NMMM to study the effects of storage on donated red blood cells (RBCs) using non-invasive 2PEF and THG without breaching the blood storage bag. Unlike the lack of RBC fluorescence previously reported, we show that with two-photon (2P) excitation from an 800 nm source, and three-photon (3P) excitation from a 1060 nm source, there was sufficient fluorescent signal from hemoglobin as well as other endogenous fluorophores. Chapter III employs NMMM to establish the endogenous MP signals present in healthy excised and unstained mouse and Cynomolgus monkey retinas using 2PEF, 3PEF, SHG, and THG. We show the first epi-direction detected cross-section and depth-resolved images of unstained isolated retinas obtained using NMMM with an ultrafast fiber laser centered at 1070 nm and a 303038 fs pulse. Two spectrally and temporally distinct regions were shown; one from the nerve fiber layer (NFL) to the inner receptor layer (IRL), and one from the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) and choroid. Chapter IV focuses on the use of minimal NMMM signals from a 1070 nm Yb-fiber laser to match and augment H&E-like contrast in human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) biopsies. In addition to performing depth-resolved (DR) imaging directly from the paraffin block and matching H&E-like contrast, we showed how the combination of characteristic inflammatory 2PEF signals undetectable in H&E stained tissues and SHG signals from stromal collagen can be used to analytical distinguish healthy, mild and severe inflammatory, and neoplastic regions and determine neoplastic margins in a three-dimensional (3D) manner. Chapter V focuses on the use of computational methods to solve an inverse problem of the overlapping endogenous fluorescent and harmonic signals within mouse retinas. The least-squares fitting algorithm was most effective at accurately assigning photons from the NMMMIs to their source. This work, unlike commercial software, permits using custom signal source reference spectra from endogenous molecules, not from fluorescent tags and stains. Finally, Chapter VI explores the use of the OSCC images to train a neural network image classifier to achieve the overall goal of classifying the NMMMIs into three categories-healthy, inflammatory, and neoplastic. This work determined that even with a small dataset (< 215 images), the features present in NMMMIs in combination with tiling, transfer learning can train an image classifier to classify healthy, inflammatory, and neoplastic OSCC regions with 70% accuracy.My research successfully shows the potential of using NMMM in tandem with computational methods to augment current diagnostic protocols used by the health care system with the potential to improve patient outcomes as well as decrease pathology departmental costs. These results should facilitate the continued study and development of NMMM so that in the future, NMMM can be used for clinical applications.