Dermatology Essay

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Experimental Dermatology Research and TPM
Arguably, the immune system is where multiphoton microscopy has had the greatest impact in basic dermatological studies in both the steady state and during inflammation where it is possible to study real-time single cells and molecules within an intact living environment. Currently, the most common sites for intravital multiphoton imaging of the skin in mice include the ear (Roediger et al., 2008), hind footpad (Graham et al., 2009), and dorsal skin (Amornphimoltham et al., 2011). The footpad is an attractive site for imaging as it is hairless, whilst hair removal is essential in ear and back skin due to the autofluorescence of hair shafts obscuring image acquisition (Li et al., 2012b, Roediger et
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TPM microscopy can also be enhanced by combining it with other optical techniques. Using a Cre-inducible E-cadherin-GFP transgenic mouse model, Erami and co-workers combined TPM and FRAP to assess alteration in cadherin-based cell-cell junction integrity in the setting of tumour progression (Erami et al., 2016). While this is not a comprehensive review of all the advances made through multiphoton imaging of the skin, these examples serve to demonstrate that this technology has significantly advanced our understanding of the spatio-temporal interactions of immune cell subsets in lymphoid organs and peripheral tissues including the skin (Germain et al., 2012). Moreover, while animal models are able to elucidate basic cellular and molecular mechanisms to obtain real-time quantifiable details of complex biological mechanisms in intact tissues, the ultimate goal is to translate our understanding into clinical applications. Clinical Dermatology and TPM
Multiphoton microscopy is now being considered a potential non-invasive diagnostic tool in dermatology as the skin is very accessible for imaging. Although currently it is only possible to derive structural information from autofluorescent signals within human tissue in vivo, TPM is able to provide near histological grade images without the need for a skin biopsy or tissue processing. The use of autofluorescence as a source of natural contrast has been demonstrated in reflectance confocal microscopy. However,
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