Indexed on: 02 Nov '14Published on: 02 Nov '14Published in: Biomedical optics express
Gut mucosa is an important interface between body and environment. Immune response and healing processes of murine small intestinal mucosa were investigated by intravital time-lapse two-photon excited autofluorescence microscopy of the response to localized laser-induced damage. Epithelial lesions were created by 355-nm, 500-ps pulses from a microchip laser that produced minute cavitation bubbles. Size and dynamics of these bubbles were monitored using a novel interferometric backscattering technique with 80 nm resolution. Small bubbles (< 2.5 µm maximum radius) merely resulted in autofluorescence loss of the target cell. Larger bubbles (7-25 µm) affected several cells and provoked immigration of immune cells (polymorphonuclear leucocytes). Damaged cells were expelled into the lumen, and the epithelium healed within 2 hours by stretching and migration of adjacent epithelial cells.