Measuring dilution of microbicide gels with optical imaging.
We present a novel approach for measuring topical microbicide gel dilution using optical imaging. The approach compares gel thickness measurements from fluorimetry and multiplexed low coherence interferometry in order to calculate dilution of a gel. As a microbicide gel becomes diluted at fixed thickness, its mLCI thickness measurement remains constant, while the fluorimetry signal decreases in intensity. The difference between the two measurements is related to the extent of gel dilution. These two optical modalities are implemented in a single endoscopic instrument that enables simultaneous data collection. A preliminary validation study was performed with in vitro placebo gel measurements taken in a controlled test socket. It was found that change in slope of the regression line between fluorimetry and mLCI based measurements indicates dilution. A dilution calibration curve was then generated by repeating the test socket measurements with serial dilutions of placebo gel with vaginal fluid simulant. This methodology can provide valuable dilution information on candidate microbicide products, which could substantially enhance our understanding of their in vivo functioning.
Drake, TK; Shah, T; Peters, JJ; Wax, A; Katz, DF
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