We report a small exploratory study of a methodology for real-time imaging of chemical and physical changes in spinal cords in the immediate aftermath of a localized contusive injury. One hundred separate experiments involving scanning NIR images, one-dimensional, two-dimensional (2-D), and point measurements, obtained in vivo, within a 3 × 7 mm field, on spinal cords surgically exposed between T9 and T10 revealed differences between injured and healthy cords. The collected raw data, i.e., elastic and inelastic emission from the laser probed tissues, combined via the PV[O]H algorithm, allow construction of five images over the first 5 h post injury. Within the larger study, a total of 13 rats were studied using 2-D images, i.e., injured and control. A single 830-nm laser (100-μm diameter round spot) was spatially line-scanned across the cord to reveal photobleaching effects and surface profiles possibly locating a near surface longitudinal artery/vein. In separate experiments, the laser was scanned in two dimensions across the exposed cord surface relative to the injury in a specific pattern to avoid uneven photobleaching of the imaged tissue. The 2-D scanning produced elastic and inelastic emission that allowed construction of PV[O]H images that had good fidelity with the visually observed surfaces and separate line scans and suggested differences between the volume fractions of fluid and turbidity of injured and healthy cord tissue.
- in vivo
- spinal cord injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering