In this research line different imaging and spectroscopic methods are used to investigate the relation between morphology and molecular content in biological tissues, both in healthy and pathological condition in in-vivo and ex-vivo samples.
As a first approach we are using a multidimensional scanner comprising two and three photon excitation detection, SHG and THG, CARS and Raman imaging. This is enabling to correlate collagen structure to molecular content, cell shapes, lipids and cholesterol formation, metabolism and several others labels to understand the origin of pathology and study the reactions to therapies. This kind of morpho-functional imaging is applied both to ex vivo samples and in vivo one. Together with this, the analysis of the pathology is complemented by a pure spectroscopic analysis aiming to characterize the molecular content of the tissue. To this aim, a fiber optic probe is developed to perform multidimensional spectroscopy, ranging from one photon fluorescence, Raman scattering, and diffusive reflectance spectroscopy.
Finally, in order to extend the morphochemical analysis to 3D large sample imaging, we are developing a new paradigm of 3D digital histology by developing a large area light sheet microscope to image 3D cleared samples of pathological tissues. In order to analyze the data and extract quantitative features, deep learning techniques enabling image analysis are being used and developed.
Francesco Pavone, Group Leader
Giuseppe de Vito