Economical LED based, real-time,in vivo imaging of murine corneal wound healing

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An optimal system for monitoring in vivo corneal wound healing is inexpensive, has utility for wounding and imaging, and is able to provide previews before photography. We outline such an imaging system that takes advantage of a consumer digital camera and an LED-based light source for fluorescein excitation. Using FVB/NJ mice, 2 mm diameter, circular, axial corneal epithelial defects were created using a crescent blade. The corneal wounds were imaged every four hours until healed using a Nikon Coolpix 5400 camera attached to a Nikon SMZ-10A stereomicroscope, using the illumination from a 16 LED 464 nm flashlight. The wound area was calculated, and the linear regressions of the linear phase of wound healing were compared using the F-test. The slopes of the linear regressions for the 6 trials of 4 mice/trial had an average of −52.95 μm/h (SEM = 0.55 μm/h) and were statistically equivalent (p > 0.05). The mean of the R2 values for the linear regressions was 0.9546 (SEM = 0.0121). The equivalent linear regressions and R2 > 0.90 suggest that the imaging system could precisely monitor the wound healing of multiple trials and of animals within each trial, respectively. Using a consumer digital camera and LED-based illumination, we have established a system that is economical, is used in both wounding and imaging, is operated by a single person, and is able to provide real-time previews to monitor corneal wound healing precisely.

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