In vivo melanin 3D quantification and z-epidermal distribution by multiphoton FLIM, phasor and Pseudo-FLIM analyses

Characterizing melanins in situ and determining their 3D z-epidermal distribution is paramount for understanding physiological /pathological processes of melanin neosynthesis, transfer, degradation or modulation with external UV exposure or cosmetic/pharmaceutical products. Multiphoton fluorescence intensity- and lifetime-based approaches have been shown to afford melanin detection, but how can one quantify melanin in vivo in 3D from multiphoton fluorescence lifetime (FLIM) data, especially since FLIM imaging requires long image acquisition times not compatible with 3D imaging in a clinical setup? We propose an approach combining i) multiphoton FLIM, ii) fast image acquisition times, and iii) a melanin detection method called Pseudo-FLIM, based on slope analysis of autofluorescence intensity decays from temporally binned data. We compare Pseudo-FLIM to FLIM bi-exponential and phasor analyses of synthetic melanin, melanocytes / keratinocytes coculture and in vivo human skin. Using parameters of global 3D epidermal melanin density and z-epidermal distribution profile, we provide first insights into the in vivo knowledge of 3D melanin modulations with constitutive pigmentation versus ethnicity, with seasonality over 1 year and with topical application of retinoic acid or retinol on human skin. Applications of Pseudo-FLIM based melanin detection encompass physiological, pathological, or environmental factors-induced pigmentation modulations up to whitening, anti-photoaging, or photoprotection products evaluation.

Conférence proposée par Canal U, plus d’info sur le site de Canal U




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