Date of Degree

2-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Physics

Advisor

Hyungsik Lim

Committee Members

Ying-Chih Chen

Neepa T. Maitra

Luat T. Vuong

Huizhong Xu

Subject Categories

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics | Biological and Chemical Physics

Keywords

Second Harmonic Generation, Microscopy, Retinal Imaging, Microtubules, Nonlinear Optics, Polarization Resolved Second Harmonic Generation

Abstract

Here we present the utilization of Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) for label-free imaging of microtubules (MTs) in the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL). MTs are an important part of axonal cytoskeleton, providing structural support and serving as a railroad in intracellular transport. We demonstrate the application of SHG microscopy to the following studies: 1) Can changes in MT conformation be detected when treated with a stabilizing drug (Taxol); 2) if disruption in MT precedes loss of axons in a mouse model of glaucoma (DBA/2J); and 3) if elevated levels of intraocular pressure affect MT integrity. Our results validate SHG imaging as a promising tool to research the biophysics of MTs and its possible role in neurodegenerative disorders

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