Application of Fourier transform-second-harmonic generation imaging to the rat cervix

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We present the application of Fourier transform-second-harmonic generation (FT-SHG) imaging to evaluate the arrangement of collagen fibers in five nonpregnant rat cervices. Tissue slices from the mid-cervix and near the external orifice of the cervix were analyzed in both two-dimensions (2D) and three-dimensions (3D). We validate that the cervical microstructure can be quantitatively assessed in three dimensions using FT-SHG imaging and observe collagen fibers oriented both in and out-of-plane in the outermost and the innermost layers, which cannot be observed using 2D FT-SHG analysis alone. This approach has the potential to be a clinically applicable method for measuring progressive changes in collagen organization during cervical remodeling in humans.

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