HYBRID MIR Seminar: Mihaela Balu (University of California, Irvine) – “In vivo skin imaging with multiphoton microscopy- from bench to bedside and back”

March 14, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Zoom/Radiology/NIL Conference Room (Medical Campus, 4525 Scott Ave, East Bldg 2311)

“In vivo skin imaging with multiphoton microscopy- from bench to bedside and back”

Hosted by the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) 

Short bio: Mihaela Balu, Ph.D., is Associate Researcher at the Beckman Laser Institute, UC Irvine. She has a Master in Physics from University of Bucharest, Romania, and a PhD in Optics from the College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL), University of Central Florida. Her research is focused on integrating and advancing modern biophotonics technologies such as nonlinear optical microscopy to clinical setting. Her main goal is to use this technique as a non-invasive imaging tool to visualize, quantify and understand the microscopic and molecular processes that underlie tissue biology and disease in humans.

Abstract: The ability of multiphoton microscopy (MPM) to generate high-resolution 3D maps of specific tissue molecular compounds led to its widespread use in biomedical applications. MPM has been successfully employed in research labs for basic biology studies and imaging of small animal models but due to the complexity and cost of the microscope systems, only recently it started to be explored in clinical setting as a tool for non-invasive imaging of human skin. MPM can visualize the cellular and molecular architecture of skin, using intrinsic sources of molecular contrast based on two-photon excited fluorescence from melanin, keratin, NAD(P)H/FAD and elastin. Collagen is visualized based on the detection of second harmonic generation signal from collagen fibers. Over the past several years, our group and others have demonstrated the strong potential of MPM imaging for a broad range of applications from advancing the understanding of skin biology to non-invasive diagnosis of skin diseases and monitoring therapy effects. However, a routine implementation of this technology in clinical research and practice requires advancing the instrumentation to allow for easier access by clinicians and for more efficient imaging in terms of speed and scanning area. Our group has recently reported on a fast large area multiphoton exoscope (FLAME) for rapidly mapping out macroscopic tissue areas (mm- to cm-scale) with microscopic resolution (0.5-1mm) and enhanced chemical contrast for selective detection of melanin. This presentation will highlight the latest advances in the development and applications of this imaging platform in the context of clinical translation roadmap of the MPM technology.

For inquiries contact Margaret Morton.