|Organization of collagen fibers and tissue hardening: Markers of fibrotic scarring after spinal cord injury in mice revealed by multiphoton-atomic force microscopy imaging |
(Article) Publié: Nanomedicine Nanotechnology, Biology And Medicine, vol. p.102699 (2023)
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Spinal cord injury is a dramatic disease leading to severe motor, sensitive and autonomic impairments. After injury the axonal regeneration is partly inhibited by the glial scar, acting as a physical and chemical barrier. The scarring process involves microglia, astrocytes and extracellular matrix components, such as collagen, con- structing the fibrotic component of the scar. To investigate the role of collagen, we used a multimodal label-free imaging approach combining multiphoton and atomic force microscopy. The second harmonic generation signal exhibited by fibrillar collagen enabled to specifically monitor it as a biomarker of the lesion. An increase in collagen density and the formation of more tortuous fibers over time after injury are observed. Nano-mechanical investigations revealed a noticeable hardening of the injured area, correlated with collagen fibers' formation. These observations indicate the concomitance of important structural and mechanical modifications during the fibrotic scar evolution.