• hyperosmotic agent;
  • ultrasound;
  • permeability coefficient;
  • colon cancer;
  • light-penetration depth;
  • optical coherence tomography


Topical application optical clearing agents (OCAs) can effectively enhance the tissue optical clearing on the human colon tissue, which has been demonstrated in our previous studies. Nevertheless, the strong light scattering still limits the diffusion rate of OCAs and penetration depth of light into the tissue. In this study, in order to further increase the diffusion of the OCA of glucose into tissue, we employ a method to improve the glucose permeability and light penetration with ultrasound (sonophoretic delivery, SP) and glucose (G) synergy on human normal and cancerous colon tissues in vitro, which was measured and quantified with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) technology. To evaluate the effect of ultrasound mediation, the percentages of OCT signal enhancement (PSE) and 1/e light-penetration depth were calculated for G alone and ultrasound-G treatments. The PSE was calculated at approximately 313 μm from the sample tissue surface. For normal and cancerous colon tissues the PSE were about 91.1 ± 10.6% and 65.3% ± 12.3% with 30% G/SP, but for the 30% G alone treatment it was about 78.6 ± 11.2% and 54.5% ± 9.3%, respectively. The max value of 1/e light-penetration depth for normal colon tissue was 0.47 ± 0.02 mm with 30% G alone and 0.60 ± 0.05 mm (p < 0.05)with 30% G/SP synergy. However, for the cancerous colon tissue the max value was 0.45 ± 0.01 mm and 0.57 ± 0.03 mm (p < 0.05), respectively. The obtained permeability coefficients showed a significant enhancement with ultrasound mediation. The mean permeability coefficients of 30% G/SP in normal and cancerous colon tissues were (6.3 ± 0.16) × 10–6 cm/s and (12.1 ± 0.34) × 10–6 cm/s (p < 0.05), respectively. These preliminary experiments showed that ultrasound can effectively enhance the tissue optical clearing and glucose diffusion rate as well as increase the light-penetration depth into biotissues. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)