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J Biomed Opt. 2008 Sep-Oct;13(5):050502. doi: 10.1117/1.2981817.

Label-free imaging of Drosophila larva by multiphoton autofluorescence and second harmonic generation microscopy.

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National Taiwan University, Department of Electrical Engineering, Taipei, Taiwan.


The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most valuable organisms in studying genetics and developmental biology. To gain insight into Drosophila development, we successfully acquired label-free, in vivo images of both developing muscles and internal organs in a stage 2 larva using the minimally invasive imaging modality of multiphoton autofluorescence (MAF) and second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy. We found that although MAF is useful in identifying structures such as the digestive system, trachea, and intestinal track, it is the SHG signal that allowed the investigation of the muscular architecture within the developing larva. Our results suggest that multiphoton microscopy is a powerful in vivo, label-free imaging technique to examine Drosophila physiology and may be used for developmental studies.

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