Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 561–569 | Cite as

Visualize and quantify the structural alteration of the rat spinal cord injury based on multiphoton microscopy

  • Chenxi Liao
  • Xiaoqin ZhuEmail author
  • Linquan Zhou
  • Zhenyu WangEmail author
  • Wenge Liu
  • Jianxin Chen
Original Article


The development of imaging technique to visualize and quantify the structural alteration of the spinal cord injury (SCI) may lead to better understanding and treatments of the injuries. In this work, multiphoton microscopy (MPM) based on two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) and second-harmonic generation (SHG) was tentatively applied to quantitatively visualize the cellular microstructures of SCI to demonstrate the feasibility and superiority of MPM in SCI imaging. High-contrast MPM images of normal and injured spinal cord tissue were obtained for comparison. Moreover, the changes of injured spinal cord were characterized by the quantitative analysis of the MPM images. These results showed that MPM combined with quantitative method has the ability to identify the characteristics of spinal cord injury including the changes in the contents of nerve fibers and extracellular matrix. With the advancement of MPM, we believe that this technique has great potential to provide the histological diagnosis for the monitoring and evaluation of SCI.


Multiphoton microscopy (MPM) Two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) Second-harmonic generation (SHG) Spinal cord injury (SCI) 


Funding information

The work was supported by the Changjiang Scholars Program and the University Innovative Research Team (grant no. IRT_15R10), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 81671730), the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (2015J01241), and a grant from the Education Bureau of Fujian Province (grant no. JA13060).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

The experimental procedures with rats were conducted according to the Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee in Fujian Medical University.

Informed consent

It does not apply, since the study was developed with Sprague-Dawley rats.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of OptoElectronic Science and Technology for Medicine of Ministry of Education, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Photonics TechnologyFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of OrthopedicsAffiliated Union Hospital of Fujian Medical UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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