Label-free concurrent 5-modal microscopy (Co5M) resolves unknown spatio-temporal processes in wound healing

Markus Seeger, Christoph Dehner, Dominik Jüstel, Vasilis Ntziachristos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The non-invasive investigation of multiple biological processes remains a methodological challenge as it requires capturing different contrast mechanisms, usually not available with any single modality. Intravital microscopy has played a key role in dynamically studying biological morphology and function, but it is generally limited to resolving a small number of contrasts, typically generated by the use of transgenic labels, disturbing the biological system. We introduce concurrent 5-modal microscopy (Co5M), illustrating a new concept for label-free in vivo observations by simultaneously capturing optoacoustic, two-photon excitation fluorescence, second and third harmonic generation, and brightfield contrast. We apply Co5M to non-invasively visualize multiple wound healing biomarkers and quantitatively monitor a number of processes and features, including longitudinal changes in wound shape, microvascular and collagen density, vessel size and fractality, and the plasticity of sebaceous glands. Analysis of these parameters offers unique insights into the interplay of wound closure, vasodilation, angiogenesis, skin contracture, and epithelial reformation in space and time, inaccessible by other methods. Co5M challenges the conventional concept of biological observation by yielding multiple simultaneous parameters of pathophysiological processes in a label-free mode.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1040
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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