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Int J Nanomedicine. 2012;7:5545-54. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S33875. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

Fluorescence excitation analysis by two-photon confocal laser scanning microscopy: a new method to identify fluorescent nanoparticles on histological tissue sections.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U678/UMR-S UPMC, CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


In the present study, we make use of the ability of two-photon confocal laser scanning microscopes (CLSMs) equipped with tunable lasers to produce spectral excitation image sequences. Furthermore, unmixing, which is usually performed on emission image sequences, is performed on these excitation image sequences. We use factor analysis of medical image sequences (FAMIS), which produces factor images, to unmix spectral image sequences of stained structures in tissue sections to provide images of characterized stained cellular structures. This new approach is applied to histological tissue sections of mouse aorta containing labeled iron nanoparticles stained with Texas Red and counterstained with SYTO13, to obtain visual information about the accumulation of these nanoparticles in the arterial wall. The possible presence of Texas Red is determined using a two-photon CLSM associated with FAMIS via the excitation spectra. Texas Red and SYTO13 are thus differentiated, and corresponding factor images specify their possible presence and cellular localization. In conclusion, the designed protocol shows that sequences of images obtained by excitation in a two-photon CLSM enables characterization of Texas Red-stained nanoparticles and other markers. This methodology offers an alternative and complementary solution to the conventional use of emission spectra unmixing to localize fluorescent nanoparticles in tissue samples.


FAMIS; Texas Red; spectral excitation sequences; tunable excitation; unmixing

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