Whole structural reconstruction and quantification of epidermal innervation through the suction blister method and skin-clearing technique

Dai Hyun Kim, Se Jeong Lee, June Hoan Kim, Sung Jin Park, Soo Hong Seo, Hyo Hyun Ahn, Woong Sun, Byung Jo Kim, Im Joo Rhyu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3-D) analysis of intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENFs) is conducted to advance assessment methods for peripheral neuropathies and pruritic skin disorders. The skin-clearing technique was proven to be a reliable method for 3-D imaging of IENFs. Nonetheless, it still requires further improvement in the imaging process. The aim of this study was to standardize the 3-D evaluation method of IENFs and to suggest promising 3-D biomarkers for clinical application. A total of nine healthy individuals were prospectively enrolled. The newly adopted suction blister method was combined with the tissue-clearing technique. The detailed structure of the IENFs was reconstructed and quantified using the neuron tracing software. The suction blister method showed improved linear integrity of IENFs compared with those obtained from the previously used salt-split skin test. The 3-D parameters most significantly related to natural aging were the convex hull two-dimensional perimeter and the total length (both p = 0.020). The meaningful correlations were followed by total volume (p = 0.025), ends (p = 0.026), convex hull 3-D surface, and complexity (both p = 0.030). Thus, the 3-D parameters could be utilized as possible biomarkers to identify ambiguous pathologies of peripheral neuropathies and pruritic skin disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13596
JournalScientific reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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