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Title: Second harmonic generation characterization of collagen in whole bone

Bone is a unique biological composite material made up of a highly structured collagen mesh matrix and mineral deposits. Although mineral provides stiffness, collagen’s secondary organization provides a critical role in bone elasticity. Here, we performed polarimetric analysis of bone collagen fibers using second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging to evaluate lamella sheets and collagen fiber integrity in intact cranial bone. Our polarimetric data was fitted to a model accounting for diattenuation, polarization cross-talk, and birefringence. We compared our data to the fitted model and found no significant difference between our polarimetric observation and the representation of these scattering properties up to 70µm deep. We also observed a loss of resolution as we imaged up to 70µm deep into bone but a conservation of polarimetric response. Polarimetric SHG allows for the discrimination of collagen lamellar sheet structures in intact bone. Our work could allow for label-free identification of disease states and monitor the efficacy of therapies for bone disorders.

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Biomedical Optics Express
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Article No. 4379
Optical Society of America
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National Science Foundation
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