This work presents an optospectroscopic characterization technique for soft tissue microstructure using site-matched confocal Raman microspectroscopy and polarized light microscopy. Using the technique, the microstructure of soft tissue samples is directly observed by polarized light microscopy during loading while spatially correlated spectroscopic information is extracted from the same plane, verifying the orientation and arrangement of the collagen fibers. Results show the response and orientation of the collagen fiber arrangement in its native state as well as during tensile and compressive loadings in a porcine sclera model. An example is also given showing how the data can be used with a finite element program to estimate the strain in individual collagen fibers. The measurements demonstrate features that indicate microstructural reorganization and damage of the sclera's collagen fiber arrangement under loading. The site-matched confocal Raman microspectroscopic characterization of the tissue provides a qualitative measure to relate the change in fibrillar arrangement with possible chemical damage to the collagen microstructure. Tests and analyses presented here can potentially be used to determine the stress-strain behavior, and fiber reorganization of the collagen microstructure in soft tissue during viscoelastic response.
Chakraborty, N., Wang, M., Solocinski, J., Kim, W., & Argento, A. (2016). Imaging of scleral collagen deformation using combined confocal raman microspectroscopy and polarized light microscopy techniques. PLoS ONE, 11(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0165520