The first in vivo optical virtual biopsy based on epithird-harmonic-generation (THG) microscopy is successfully demonstrated using Syrian hamster oral mucosa as a model system. Without complex physical biopsy procedures, epi-THG microscopy can provide high spatial resolution dynamic images of oral mucosa and sub-mucosa in all three dimensions. The demonstrated intra-vital epi-THG microscopy provide high resolution observation of blood flow in the capillary and could be a promising tool to image angiogenesis, which is an important feature for many human diseases including malignancies. The system setup of epi-THG microscopy can be easily integrated with other nonlinear optical microscopy such as second-harmonic generation and multi-photon fluorescence microscopy by using the same laser system to provide better integrated molecular and structural information for future clinical diagnosis. By adding 6% acetic acid solution on the mucosa, THG contrast on the borders of nuclei was found to be greatly enhanced due to the alterations of their linear and nonlinear THG susceptibilities. With a virtual-transition-based technology without using fluorescence, the optical epi-THG biopsy we demonstrated shows promise for future noninvasive in vivo diseases examinations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics