In vivo assessment of mechanical properties during axolotl development and regeneration using confocal Brillouin microscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



In processes such as development and regeneration, where large cellular and tissue rearrangements occur, cell fate and behaviour are strongly influenced by tissue mechanics. While most well-established tools probing mechanical properties require an invasive sample preparation, confocal Brillouin microscopy captures mechanical parameters optically with high resolution in a contact-free and label-free fashion. In this work, we took advantage of this tool and the transparency of the highly regenerative axolotl to probe its mechanical properties in vivo for the first time. We mapped the Brillouin frequency shift with high resolution in developing limbs and regenerating digits, the most studied structures in the axolotl. We detected a gradual increase in the cartilage Brillouin frequency shift, suggesting decreasing tissue compressibility during both development and regeneration. Moreover, we were able to correlate such an increase with the regeneration stage, which was undetected with fluorescence microscopy imaging. The present work evidences the potential of Brillouin microscopy to unravel the mechanical changes occurring in vivo in axolotls, setting the basis to apply this technique in the growing field of epimorphic regeneration.


Original languageEnglish
Article number220078
Number of pages12
JournalOpen biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

External IDs

Scopus 85132303861
PubMed 35728623
Mendeley 2c93d539-cf08-35b2-8ef3-261d468b9394
WOS 000814138000001
unpaywall 10.1098/rsob.220078


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Ambystoma mexicanum, Animals, Microscopy, Confocal/methods, confocal Brillouin microscopy, development, axolotl, regeneration, cartilage

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