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Full-field optical coherence tomography: novel imaging technique for extemporaneous high-resolution analysis of mucosal architecture in human gut biopsies
  1. Lucille Quénéhervé1,2,
  2. Raphael Olivier1,3,
  3. Michalina J Gora4,
  4. Céline Bossard5,
  5. Jean-François Mosnier5,
  6. Emilie Benoit a la Guillaume6,
  7. Claude Boccara6,7,
  8. Charlène Brochard1,8,
  9. Michel Neunlist1,2,
  10. Emmanuel Coron1,2
  1. 1 Université de Nantes, Inserm, TENS, The Enteric Nervous System in Gut and Brain Diseases, IMAD, Nantes, France
  2. 2 Institut des Maladies de l’Appareil Digestif, IMAD, Hôtel Dieu, CHU Nantes, Nantes, France
  3. 3 Gastroenterology Department, CHU Poitiers, Poitiers, France
  4. 4 ICube Laboratory, CNRS, Strasbourg University, Strasbourg, France
  5. 5 Service d’Anatomie et Cytologie Pathologique, INSERM, CRCINA, Université de Nantes, CHU Nantes, F44000 Nantes, France
  6. 6 LLTech, LLTech SAS, Paris, France
  7. 7 Institut Langevin, ESPCI Paris, PSL University, CNRS, 1 rue Jussieu, Paris, France
  8. 8 Service d’Explorations Fonctionnelles Digestives, CHU Rennes, Rennes, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michel Neunlist, The Enteric Nervous System in Gut and Brain Disorders, INSERM, IMAD, University of Nantes, Nantes, France; michel.neunlist{at}


Full-field optical coherence tomography (FFOCT) is an imaging technique of biological tissue based on tissue light reflectance analysis. We evaluated the feasibility of imaging fresh digestive mucosal biopsies after a quick mounting procedure (5 min) using two distinct modalities of FFOCT. In static FFOCT mode, we gained high-resolution images of general gut tissue-specific architecture, such as oesophageal papillae, gastric pits, duodenal villi and colonic crypts. In dynamic FFOCT mode, we imaged individual epithelial cells of the mucosal lining with a cellular or subcellular resolution and identified cellular components of the lamina propria. FFOCT represents a promising dye-free imaging tool for on-site analysis of gut tissue remodelling.

  • epithelial barrier
  • gastrointesinal endoscopy
  • histopathology

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  • LQ and RO are joint first authors.

  • MN and EC are joint senior authors.

  • MN and EC contributed equally.

  • Contributors Conceptualisation: LQ, RO, MN and EC. Endoscopic examinations and biopsy collection: EC. Pathology review: JFM and CBos. Data curation: LQ, RO, MJG, EBG and CBr. Formal analysis: LQ and MN. Funding acquisition: LQ, MN and EC. Investigation: LQ, RO, JFM, CBos and CBr. Supervision: MN and EC. Writing the original draft: LQ, RO, MJG and MN. Writing, review and editing: LQ, MN, EC, CBoc, CBr and MJG.

  • Funding Grant for equipment funding: Plan Cancer Inserm 2016, Mibiogate project by the region Pays de la Loire, DHU Oncogreffe, CEREDI: Centre de Recherche en Endoscopie Digestive.

  • Competing interests CBoc is one of the founders of the company LLTech and holds shares in this company. EBG is employed by LLTech.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.