In our ongoing efforts to highlight diagnostics and theragnostics, we offer this interesting manuscript from Prabu and coworkers in PLoS one. Evaluating quantity and perhaps quality of collagen in tissues may be yet another means to measure what we manage.
Collagen, a triple helical protein with the primary role of mechanical function, provides tensile strength to the skin, and plays a pivotal task in tissue repair. During tissue regeneration, collagen level increases gradually and therefore, monitoring of such changes in vivo by laser induced fluorescence was the main objective behind the present study. In order to accomplish this, 15 mm diameter excisional wounds were created on six to eight week old Swiss albino mice. The collagen deposition accelerated upon irradiation of single exposure of 2 J/cm2 He-Ne laser dose immediately after wounding was recorded by laser induced autofluorescence in vivoalong with un-illuminated and un-wounded controls. Autofluorescence spectra were recorded for each animal of the experimental groups on 0, 5, 10, 30, 45 and 60 days post-wounding, by exciting the granulation tissue/skin with 325 nm He-Cd laser. The variations in the average collagen intensities from the granulation tissue/skin of mice were inspected as a function of age and gender. Further, the spectral findings of the collagen synthesis in wound granulation tissue/un-wounded skin tissues were validated by Picro-Sirius red- polarized light microscopy in a blinded manner through image analysis of the respective collagen birefringence. The in vivoautofluorescence studies have shown a significant increase in collagen synthesis in laser treated animals as compared to the un-illuminated controls. Image analysis of the collagen birefringence further authenticated the ability of autofluorescence in the objective monitoring of collagen in vivo. Our results clearly demonstrate the potential of laser induced autofluorescence in the monitoring of collegen synthesis during tissue regeneration, which may have clinical implications.