Effect of molecular organization on the image histograms of polarization SHG microscopy
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Based on its polarization dependency, second harmonic generation (PSHG) microscopy has been proven capable to structurally characterize molecular architectures in different biological samples. By exploiting this polarization dependency of the SHG signal in every pixel of the image, average quantitative structural information can be retrieved in the form of PSHG image histograms. In the present study we experimentally show how the PSHG image histograms can be affected by the organization of the SHG active molecules. Our experimental scenario grounds on two inherent properties of starch granules. Firstly, we take advantage of the radial organization of amylopectin molecules (the SHG source in starch) to attribute shifts of the image histograms to the existence of tilted off the plane molecules. Secondly, we use the property of starch to organize upon hydration to demonstrate that the degree of structural order at the molecular level affects the width of the PSHG image histograms. The shorter the width is the more organized the molecules in the sample are, resulting in a reliable method to measure order. The implication of this finding is crucial to the interpretation of PSHG images used for example in tissue diagnostics.
CitationPsilodimitrakopoulos, S. [et al.]. Effect of molecular organization on the image histograms of polarization SHG microscopy. "BIOMEDICAL OPTICS EXPRESS", 2012, vol. 3, núm. 10, p. 2681-2693.