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Monitoring calcium-induced epidermal differentiation in vitro using multiphoton microscopy

Journal article
Authors Monika Malak
Julie Grantham
Marica B Ericson
Published in Journal of Biomedical Optics
Volume 25
Issue 7
Pages 1-11
ISSN 1083-3668
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 1-11
Language en
Keywords autofluorescence, epidermal differentiation, in vitro modeling, keratinocytes, live imaging, multiphoton microscopy
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Molecular biology, Cell Biology, Optics, Dermatology and Venereal Diseases


SIGNIFICANCE: Research in tissue engineering and in vitro organ formation has recently intensified. To assess tissue morphology, the method of choice today is restricted primarily to histology. Thus novel tools are required to enable noninvasive, and preferably label-free, three-dimensional imaging that is more compatible with futuristic organ-on-a-chip models. AIM: We investigate the potential for using multiphoton microscopy (MPM) as a label-free in vitro approach to monitor calcium-induced epidermal differentiation. APPROACH: In vitro epidermis was cultured at the air-liquid interface in varying calcium concentrations. Morphology and tissue architecture were investigated using MPM based on visualizing cellular autofluorescence. RESULTS: Distinct morphologies corresponding to epidermal differentiation were observed. In addition, Ca2  +  -induced effects could be distinguished based on the architectural differences in stratification in the tissue cultures. CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that MPM based on cellular autofluorescence enables visualization of Ca2  +  -induced differentiation in epidermal skin models in vitro. The technique has potential to be further adapted as a noninvasive, label-free, and real-time tool to monitor tissue regeneration and organ formation in vitro.

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