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Sci Rep. 2015 Aug 17;5:13216. doi: 10.1038/srep13216.

In vivo micro-scale tomography of ciliary behavior in the mammalian oviduct.

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Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Department of Genetics, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Motile cilia in the mammalian oviduct play a key role in reproduction, such as transporting fertilized oocytes to the uterus for implantation. Due to their small size (~5-10 μm in length and ~300 nm in diameter), live visualization of cilia and their activity in the lumen of the oviduct through tissue layers represents a major challenge not yet overcome. Here, we report a functional low-coherence optical imaging technique that allows in vivo depth-resolved mapping of the cilia location and cilia beat frequency (CBF) in the intact mouse oviduct with micro-scale spatial resolution. We validate our approach with widely-used microscopic imaging methods, present the first in vivo mapping of the oviduct CBF in its native context, and demonstrate the ability of this approach to differentiate CBF in different locations of the oviduct at different post-conception stages. This technique opens a range of opportunities for live studies in reproductive medicine as well as other areas focused on cilia activity and related ciliopathies.

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