Characterisation and correction of polarisation effects in fluorescently labelled fibres

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Many biological structures take the form of fibres and filaments, and quantitative analysis of fibre organisation is important for understanding their functions in both normal physiological conditions and disease. In order to visualise these structures, fibres can be fluorescently labelled and imaged, with specialised image analysis methods available for quantifying the degree and strength of fibre alignment. Here we show that fluorescently labelled fibres can display polarised emission, with the strength of this effect varying depending on structure and fluorophore identity. This can bias automated analysis of fibre alignment and mask the true underlying structural organisation. We present a method for quantifying and correcting these polarisation effects without requiring polarisation-resolved microscopy and demonstrate its efficacy when applied to images of fluorescently labelled collagen gels, allowing for more reliable characterisation of fibre microarchitecture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2024


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