Biological imaging using CARS
Cytosolic lipids participate in the growth, development, and overall health of mammalian oocytes including many roles in cellular homeostasis. It is therefore important to quantitate and compare how lipid content relates to cellular structure, function, and normalcy. We demonstrated that nonlinear vibrational microscopy (e.g., coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering or CARS microscopy) can be used for live-cell imaging to quantify and compare lipid content in mammalian oocytes during development and in relation to body composition, and compared its efficacy to methods involving cellular fixation and staining protocols. Such a method of live-cell lipid quantification has i) experimental power in basic cell biology, ii) practical utility for identifying developmental predictive biomarkers while advancing biology-based oocyte/embryo selection, and iii) ability to yield rationally supporting technology for decision-making in rodents, domestic species, and human assisted reproduction and/or fertility preservation.