Spatial and temporal analysis of skin glycation by the use of multiphoton microscopy and spectroscopy

Ara A. Ghazaryan, Po-Sheng Hu, Shean-Jen Chen, Hsin Yuan Tan, Chen Yuan Dong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Tissue glycation, the main cause of many diabetes-related complications, results in the accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGE). Objectives: These AGEs are endogenous fluorophores that can serve as a viable pathological indicator for disease diagnostics. Here we explore the capabilities of multiphoton microscopy to non-invasively localize and quantify the skin glycation. Methods: In our study, multiphoton microscopy and spectroscopy were used to investigate glycation events-induced changes in the intensities of autofluorescence and second harmonic generation on ex vivo human skin. Results: Temporal and spatial dependence of degrees of glycation of the epidermis, collagen and elastin fibers of dermis were evaluated for their relevance to the changes in amplitudes of autofluorescence signals. We found that glycation drastically and linearly increases multiphoton autofluorescence intensity of epidermis and dermal collagen whereas changes in dermal elastin are moderate. We also found decrease in the level of second harmonic generation signal. Conclusion: Our study suggests that due to intrinsically weak autofluorescence the dermal collagen is the most sensitive skin tissue to be used for detecting changes in tissue glycation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-195
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dermatological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • Advanced glycation endproducts
  • Multiphoton imaging
  • Second harmonic generation
  • Tissue glycation

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