Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

3D Deep-Imaging Advance Likely to Drive New Biological Insights

11.11.2014

In a significant technical advance, a team of neuroscientists at The Rockefeller University has devised a fast, inexpensive imaging method for probing the molecular intricacies of large biological samples in three dimensions, an achievement that could have far reaching implications in a wide array of basic biological investigations.

The new method, called iDISCO, optimizes techniques for deep tissue immunolabeling and combines them with recent technological innovations in tissue clearing and light sheet microscopy to achieve unprecedented deep labeling and imaging of molecular structures in the brain, the kidney, and other organs and tissues in experimental settings. A detailed report on iDISCO is in the November 6 issue of the journal Cell.


Imaging breakthrough.

Images generated using the new iDISCO technique show nerves responsible for conducting pain and other sensations, in a mouse embryo (top); axons of the motor nerve that that controls eye movements, in an adult mouse (middle); and collecting ducts that concentrate urine before it leaves the kidney, in an adult mouse (bottom).

“What we did was optimize many different parameters of several existing techniques to create this powerful new labeling method,” says Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Rockefeller president, Carson Family Professor, head of the Laboratory of Brain Development and Repair, and senior author on the new study.

“These optimization efforts paid off in spades, dramatically extending our ability to visualize molecular structures deep in intact complex tissues like the brain. Although developed in our laboratory to help us pursue neuroscience questions, we believe this new method will provide biological researchers in many disciplines with an important new tool for advancing their work.”

When executed as part of a coordinated protocol, the advance creates a powerful method for imaging molecular structures deep in tissues that is much simpler and more rapid than previous approaches used by biological researchers.

“For us as neuroscientists, one of the big applications of this new imaging method has been the ability to visualize axonal pathways in the developing and adult brain,” says Nicolas Renier, a postdoctoral associate in the Tessier-Lavigne laboratory and co-first author on the study. “We were surprised at just how well we were able to image these detailed structures in the context of the whole brain.”

“The fact that we can now visualize neural circuit formation in larger embryos allows us to study the developing nervous system when it is more well formed,” says Zhuhao Wu, also a postdoctoral associate in the Tessier-Lavigne laboratory and co-first author on the study. “This opens entire new avenues to our research.”

The team focused on three techniques, as they sought to maximize the effectiveness of deep tissue immunolabeling and combine it with innovations by other scientists in tissue clearing and light sheet microscopy.

Clearing is a chemical treatment process that renders biological samples transparent, enabling light to reach deep inside them, and it is in this area particularly that new frontiers have been established in a number of laboratories recently, making it possible to peer deeper into samples than ever before.

Immunolabeling is a longstanding laboratory technique for tagging molecules of interest in biological samples with selected antibodies, but usually in relatively small or thin samples. In this area, the Rockefeller group demonstrated their ability to introduce 28 widely used research antibodies much more deeply and more rapidly into a diversity of samples than had previously been possible.

Immunolabeling differs from another commonly used technique in which fluorescent reporter molecules are introduced into a tissue transgenically. Immunolabeling instead attaches tags to endogenous molecules in a study sample.

“Being able to visualize molecules introduced transgenically by the experimenters is a very valuable tool,” says Tessier-Lavigne. “What drove us, however, was a desire to complement that tool with a greater ability to look at endogenous molecular processes. In this area, our new labeling method breaks a barrier we weren’t necessarily expecting to be able to break when we set out on this project.”

Light sheet microscopy has the power to scan whole organs or large tissues in relatively short amounts of time at very high resolutions. The data set captured is so detailed that it can be translated either into images offering a comprehensive view of the entire sample or a closer look at smaller structures within the sample.

Renier and Wu are co-lead authors on the Cell study, and Tessier-Lavigne is senior author. Their coauthors are: David I. Simon, Jing Yang and Pablo Ariel, also in the Tessier-Lavigne laboratory.

Contact Information
Zach Veilleux
212-327-8998
newswire@rockefeller.edu

Zach Veilleux | newswise

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology
22.09.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Skin patch dissolves 'love handles' in mice
18.09.2017 | Columbia University Medical Center

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>