Abstract

Here we experimentally show that second-harmonic generation (SHG) imaging is not sensitive to collagen fibers oriented parallel to the direction of laser propagation and, as a consequence, can potentially miss important structural information. As an alternative approach, we demonstrate the use of reflective micro-prisms to enable multi-view SHG imaging of mouse tail tendon by redirecting the focused excitation and collection of subsequent emission. Our approach data corroborates the theoretical treatment on vanishing and nonvanishing orientations, where fibers along the laser direction are largely transparent by SHG. In strong contrast, the two-photon excited fluorescence of dye-labeled collagen fibers is isotropic and is not subject to this constraint. We utilized Pearson correlation to quantify differences in fluorescent and backward detected SHG images of the tendon fiber structure, where the SHG and TPEF were highly statistically correlated (0.6–0.8) for perpendicular excitation but were uncorrelated for excitation parallel to the fiber axis. The results suggest that improved imaging of 3D collagen structure is possible with multi-view SHG microscopy.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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