Multimodal imaging techniques aim to improve the efficiency of current cancer diagnostic methods and provide greater insight into the tumour microenvironment. Second harmonic generation microscopy (SHG) is a non-destructive imaging technique available to researchers for detecting the changes in the morphology of collagen. Researchers aim to understand the role played by changes in collagen morphology in tumour development. Hybrid imaging methods are able to combine the specificity of collagen detection by SHG with other narrow ranged fluorescent or biochemical markers, leading to higher efficiency of cancer diagnosis and grading. Different cancer diagnoses have been detected efficiently by these methods, with higher clarity than standard protocols. Higher contrast between malignant and normal tissue, achieved using high content imaging using SHG, have also allowed for development of non-invasive follow-up of cancer treatment methods. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the analysis techniques currently used to further improve the efficiency of cancer detection.

This article originally appeared in Materials Discovery, 1, 2015, Pages 10-20.