Source separation approach for the analysis of spatially resolved multiply excited autofluorescence spectra during optical clearing of ex vivo skin

Abstract : Spatially resolved multiply excited autofluorescence spectroscopy is a valuable optical biopsy technique to investigate skin UV-visible optical properties in vivo in clinics. However, it provides bulk fluorescence signals from which the individual endogenous fluorophore contributions need to be disentangled. Skin optical clearing allows for increasing tissue transparency, thus providing access to more accurate in-depth information. The aim of the present contribution was to study the time changes in skin spatially resolved and multiply excited autofluorescence spectra during skin optical clearing. The latter spectra were acquired on an ex vivo human skin strip lying on a fluorescent gel substrate during 37 minutes of the optical clearing process of a topically applied sucrose-based solution. A Non Negative Matrix Factorization-based blind source separation approach was proposed to unmix skin tissue intrinsic fluorophore contributions and to analyze the time evolution of this mixing throughout the optical clearing process. This spectral unmixing exploited the multidimensionality of the acquired data, i.e., spectra resolved in five excitation wavelengths, four source-to-detector separations, and eight measurement times. Best fitting results between experimental and estimated spectra were obtained for optimal numbers of 3 and 4 sources. These estimated spectral sources exhibited common identifiable shapes of fluorescence emission spectra related to the fluorescent gel substrate and to known skin intrinsic fluorophores matching namely dermis collagen/elastin and epidermis flavins. The time analysis of the fluorophore contributions allowed us to highlight how the clearing process towards the deepest skin layers impacts skin autofluorescence through time, namely with a strongest contribution to the bulk autofluorescence signal of dermis collagen (respectively epidermis flavins) fluorescence at shortest (respectively longest) excitation wavelengths and longest (respectively shortest) source-to-detector separations.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02160058
Contributor : Walter Blondel <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 12:05:50 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 5, 2019 - 4:00:33 PM

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Prisca Rakotomanga, Charles Soussen, Grégoire Khairallah, Marine Amouroux, Sergey Zaytsev, et al.. Source separation approach for the analysis of spatially resolved multiply excited autofluorescence spectra during optical clearing of ex vivo skin. Biomedical optics express, Optical Society - SOA Publishing, 2019, 10 (7), pp.3410-3424. ⟨10.1364/BOE.10.003410⟩. ⟨hal-02160058⟩

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