Abstract

Collagen is the major component of skin, tendon, cartilage, cornea, and, as a main structural protein it is the key determinant of thermo-mechanical properties of collagen-rich tissues in mammals. Thermal damage of chicken dermis and tendon, bovine leg tendon, and other collagen contained tissues were investigated with the use of second harmonic generation (SHG) and two-photon excited auto-fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy. Samples were heating in a temperature-controlled water bath in the temperature range 18-90° C. SHG time-lapse imaging and analysis of intensity decay showed that the collagen thermal destruction depended on both temperature and heating time, and can be modeled by the Arrhenius equation. Temporal decay of SHG signal from the chicken dermis was single exponential during isothermal treatment at temperatures above 60º C that allowed to determine activation energy and frequency factor of skin collagen denaturation. Furthermore, two-exponential decay and partially reversible change in SHG intensity were registered during the tendon thermal treatment. A simple laser system and procedure is proposed for a real-time monitoring of collagen fiber thermal modification within a microscopic volume of 1 nl.

© 2011 OSA/SPIE

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