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Optical coherence tomography (OCT), which provides depth-resolved cross-sectional images, was recently applied to study the human respiratory system

The availability of quantitative parameters provides a powerful tool that will be useful for studying the physiology, pathophysiology and the effectiveness of therapies on epithelial cilia function, as well as serve as a diagnostic tool for diseases associated with ciliary dysmotility.

By Stephanie Grauden | May 09, 2017

Wausau, WI (May 9, 2017) – Research conducted by Yuye Ling, MS; Xinwen Yao, MS; Ute A. Gamm, PhD; Emilio Arteaga-Solis, MD; Charles W. Emala, MD; Michael A. Choma, MD, PhD; and Christine P. Hendon, PhD was selected as Editor’s Choice in the March 2017 issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM).

The manuscript titled, “Ex vivo visualization of human ciliated epithelium and quantitative analysis of induced flow dynamics by using optical coherence tomography” was published in LSM, the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS).

Ciliated epithelium plays a crucial role in removing pathogens from the pulmonary tract. In this paper, a 3D optical imaging technology termed optical coherence tomography (OCT) was used to analyze ciliary functions, which showed a great potential to help understand and diagnose various pulmonary diseases.

“Motile cilia are microscale protrusions from ciliated epithelium and are found on the linings of various human organs such as the respiratory tract, fallopian tubes, epididymis, and middle ear, and are essential for organizing mucous or water flow across the epithelial surface. The process of mucociliary clearance is an important self-defense mechanism of the respiratory system. Failure of mucociliary clearance, which is found in patients that suffer from primary ciliary dyskinesia, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, often leads to chronic infections and impaired lung function,” stated Dr. Hendon.

“This manuscript presents the first demonstration of using optical coherence tomography (OCT) to visualize and quantify ciliary motion and mucociliary flow on human tissue. OCT provides high resolution imaging of biological tissues at high speed and with high sensitivity. We demonstrate quantitative data for ciliary functions such as cilia beat frequency and flow rate measurements from OCT image sets of ex vivo human trachea samples. The results also provided insights on the ciliary functions within healthy human trachea samples, encouraging follow-on studies of ciliary functional analysis by OCT.”

Dr. Christine Hendon is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University in the City of New York. For over 10 years, Dr. Hendon’s research has focused on optical coherence tomography system and image processing development with applications in cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology, and women’s health. Dr. Hendon also teaches courses in imaging processing and optical systems. Her research aims are to translate optical imaging and spectroscopy for therapeutic evaluation and monitoring. This paper represents a new collaborative effort between Columbia University, Columbia University Medical Center, and Yale University.

Editor’s Choice is an exclusive article published in LSM, the official journal of the ASLMS. View the complete manuscript.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the largest multi-disciplinary professional organization, dedicated to the development and application of lasers and related technology for health care applications. ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. Currently, ASLMS has over 4,000 members, including physicians and surgeons representing more than 51 specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, nurses, industry representatives and manufacturers.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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