Long-term in vivo study of vertebrate embryonic development using noninvasive harmonics optical microscopy

S. Y. Chen, C. S. Hsieh, S. W. Chu, C. Y. Lin, C. Y. Ko, Y. C. Chen, H. J. Tsai, C. H. Hu, C. K. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Harmonics optical microscopy (HOM) provides a truly "noninvasive≤ tool for in vivo and long-term study of vertebrate embryonic development. Based on the nonlinear natures, it provides sub-micrometer 3D spatial resolution and high 3D optical-sectioning power (∼1μm axial resolution) without using invasive and toxic fluorophores. Since only virtual-level-transition is involved, HOM is known to leave no energy deposition and no photodamages. Combined with second harmonic generation, which is sensitive to specific structure such as nerve and muscle fibers, HOM can be used to do functional studies of early developmental dynamics of many vertebrate physiological systems. Recently, zebrafish has become a standard model for many biological and medical studies of vertebrates, due to the similarity between embryonic development of zebrafish and human being. Zebrafish embryos now have been used to study many vertebrate physiological systems. We have demonstrated an in vivo HOM study of developmental dynamics of several embryonic physiological systems in live zebrafish embryos, with focuses on the developments of brains, eyes, ears, and hearts. Based on a femtosecond Cr:forsterite laser, which provides the deepest penetration (∼1.5mm) and least photodamage in the zebrafish embryo, complete developing processes of different physiological systems within a period of time longer than 20 hours can be non-invasively observed inside the same embryo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
Pages (from-to)226-233
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2005
EventMultiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences V - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 23 Jan 200525 Jan 2005


  • Development
  • Femtosecond laser
  • Harmonic generation
  • In vivo
  • Noninvasive
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Zebrafish


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