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Published June 2012 | Published
Journal Article Open

Functional photoacoustic microscopy of diabetic vasculature


We used functional photoacoustic microscopy to image diabetes-induced damage to the microvasculature. To produce an animal model for Type 1 diabetes, we used streptozotocin (STZ), which is particularly toxic to the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas in mammals. A set number of ND4 Swiss Webster mice received intraperitoneal injections of STZ for five consecutive days at 50 mg/kg. Most mice developed a significant rise in blood glucose level (∼400 mg/dL) within three weeks of the first injection. Changes in vasculature and hemodynamics were monitored for six weeks. The mouse ear was imaged with an optical-resolution photoacoustic microscope at a main blood vessel branch from the root of the ear. There are noticeable and measurable changes associated with the disease, including decreased vessel diameter and possible occlusion due to vessel damage and polyurea. We also observed an increase in the blood flow speed in the vein and a decrease in the artery, which could be due to compensation for the dehydration and vessel diameter changes. Functional and metabolic parameters such as hemoglobin oxygen saturation, oxygen extraction fraction, and oxygen consumption rate were also measured, but showed no significant change.

Additional Information

© 2012 SPIE. Paper 12166L received Mar. 8, 2012; revised manuscript received Apr. 19, 2012; accepted for publication Apr. 20, 2012; published online May 21, 2012. The authors thank Professor James Ballard for help with editing the manuscript. We would also like to thank Joel Schilling for training and information for the animal model. This research was funded by NIH grants: 5P60 DK02057933, R01 EB000712, R01 EB008085, R01 CA134539, R01 EB010049, U54 CA136398, R01 CA157277, and R01 CA159959. Lihong V. Wang has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc. and Endra, Inc., which, however, did not support this work.

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