Three-dimensional visualization of dermal skin structure using confocal laser scanning microscopy

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The properties and performance of collagen-based materials may be affected by the collagen fibre bundle pattern, orientation and weave. The aim of this study was to develop and apply methods to visualize the dermis using confocal laser scanning microscopy from thin tissue sections stained with haematoxylin and eosin. The data was processed to allow three-dimensional (3-D) visualization on a PC and using a 3-D immersive technology system. The 3-D visualization of the confocal microscope image stacks allowed the evaluation of the collagen macromolecular structure including the collagen fibre bundles. The methods developed provide a novel way of viewing complex organic structures with further potential applications in the medical field.

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