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Title: Development of three-dimensional, ex vivo optical imaging
Author: D'Esposito, Angela Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 4667
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The ability to analyse tissue in 3-D at the mesoscopic scale (resolution: 2-50 μm) has proven essential in the study of whole specimens and individual organs. Techniques such as ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) have been successful in a number of applications. Although MRI has been used to image embryo development and gene expression in 3-D, its resolution is not sufficient to discriminate between the small structures in embryos and individual organs. Furthermore, since neither MRI nor X-ray CT are optical imaging techniques, none of them is able to make use of common staining techniques. 3-D images can be generated with confocal microscopy by focusing a laser beam to a point within the sample and collecting the fluorescent light coming from that specific plane, eliminating therefore out-of-focus light. However, the main drawback of this microscopy technique is the limited depth penetration of light (~1 mm). Tomographic techniques such as optical projection tomography (OPT) and light sheet fluorescence microscopy (also known as single plane illumination microscopy, SPIM) are novel methods that fulfil a requirement for imaging of specimens which are too large for confocal imaging and too small for conventional MRI. To allow sufficient depth penetration, these approaches require specimens to be rendered transparent via a process known as optical clearing, which can be achieved using a number of techniques. The aim of the work presented in this thesis was to develop methods for threedimensional, ex vivo optical imaging. This required, in first instance, sample preparation to clear (render transparent) biological tissue. In this project several optical clearing techniques have been tested in order to find the optimal method per each kind of tissue, focusing on tumour tissue. Indeed, depending on its structure and composition (e.g. amount of lipids or pigments within the tissue) every tissue clears at a different degree. Though there is currently no literature reporting quantification of the degree of optical clearing. Hence a novel, spectroscopic technique for measuring the light attenuation in optically cleared samples is described in this thesis and evaluated on mouse brain. 5 Optical clearing was applied to the study of cancer. The main cancer model investigated in this report is colorectal carcinoma. Fluorescently labelled proteins were used to analyse the vascular network of colorectal xenograft tumours and to prove the effect of vascular disrupting agents on the vascular tumour network. Furthermore, optical clearing and fluorescent compounds were used for ex vivo analysis of perfusion of a human colorectal liver metastasis model.
Supervisor: Walker-Samuel, Simon ; Lythgoe, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available