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Depth profiling of gold nanoparticles and characterization of point spread functions in reconstructed and human skin using multiphoton microscopy

: Labouta, H.I.; Hampel, M.; Thude, S.; Reutlinger, K.; Kostka, K.-H.; Schneider, M.


Journal of biophotonics 5 (2012), Nr.1, S.85-96
ISSN: 1864-063X
ISSN: 1864-0648
Fraunhofer IGB ()

Multiphoton microscopy has become popular in studying dermal nanoparticle penetration. This necessitates studying the imaging parameters of multiphoton microscopy in skin as an imaging medium, in terms of achievable detection depths and the resolution limit. This would simulate real-case scenarios rather than depending on theoretical values determined under ideal conditions. This study has focused on depth profiling of sub-resolution gold nanoparticles (AuNP) in reconstructed (fixed and unfixed) and human skin using multiphoton microscopy. Point spread functions (PSF) were determined for the used water-immersion objective of 63 x /NA = 1.2. Factors such as skin-tissue compactness and the presence of wrinkles were found to deteriorate the accuracy of depth profiling. A broad range of AuNP detectable depths (20100 mu m) in reconstructed skin was observed. AuNP could only be detected up to similar to 14 mu m depth in human skin. Lateral (0.5 +/- 0.1 mu m) and axial (1.0 +/- 0.3 mu m) PSF in reconstructed and human specimens were determined. Skin cells and intercellular components didn't degrade the PSF with depth. In summary, the imaging parameters of multiphoton microscopy in skin and practical limitations encountered in tracking nanoparticle penetration using this approach were investigated.