In situ three-dimensional monitoring of collagen fibrillogenesis using SHG microscopy

S. Bancelin, C. Aimé, T. Coradin, M.-C. Schanne-Klein
Biomed. Opt. Express. 2012-05-21; 3(6): 1446
DOI: 10.1364/boe.3.001446

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We implemented in situ time-lapse Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) microscopy to monitor the three-dimensional (3D) self-assembly of collagen in solution. As a proof of concept, we tuned the kinetics of fibril formation by varying the pH and measured the subsequent exponential increase of fibril volume density in SHG images. We obtained significantly different time constants at pH = 6.5 ± 0.3 and
at pH = 7.5 ± 0.3. Moreover, we showed that we could focus on the growth of a single isolated collagen fibril because SHG microscopy is sensitive to well-organized fibrils with diameter below the optical resolution. This work illustrates the potential of SHG microscopy for the rational design and characterization of collagen-based biomaterials.


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