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Monitoring the thermally induced structural transitions of collagen by use of second-harmonic generation microscopy

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Abstract

The thermal disruption of collagen I in rat tail tendon is investigated with second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy. We investigate its effects on SHG images and intensity in the temperature range 25°60°C. We find that the SHG signal decreases rapidly starting at 45°C. However, SHG imaging reveals that breakage of collagen fibers is not evident until 57°C and worsens with increasing temperature. At 57°C, structures of both molten and fibrous collagen exist, and the disruption of collagen appears to be complete at 60°C. Our results suggest that, in addition to intensity measurement, SHG imaging is necessary for monitoring details of thermally induced changes in collagen structures in biomedical applications.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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