Brillouin imaging for studies of micromechanics in biology and biomedicine: from current state-of-the-art to future clinical translation

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Journal Article
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Brillouin imaging is increasingly recognized to be a powerful technique that enables non-invasive measurement of the mechanical properties of cells and tissues on a microscopic scale. This provides an unprecedented tool for investigating cell mechanobiology, cell-matrix interactions, tissue biomechanics in healthy and disease conditions and other fundamental biological questions. Recent advances in optical hardware have particularly accelerated the development of the technique, with increasingly finer spectral resolution and more powerful system capabilities. We envision that further developments will enable translation of Brillouin imaging to assess clinical specimens and samples for disease screening and monitoring. The purpose of this review is to summarize the state-of-the-art in Brillouin microscopy and imaging with a specific focus on biological tissue and cell measurements. Key system and operational requirements will be discussed to facilitate wider application of Brillouin imaging along with current challenges for translation of the technology for clinical and medical applications.
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