Friday, April 12, 2013

Making the Brain transparent with Clarity Gel

Recently, there has been news about a new method for neuroimaging. It consists of making the brain "transparent". This new method is probably going to revolutionize imaging of biological tissues. When I first read the news, I wasn't sure how the method really worked. As I have studied in vivo neuroimaging techniques, I also thought that this method was in vivo (they were talking about rats and an autistic brain). So I was wondering how they look through the cranium and also how the biological processes are affected by this new technique. Until I read an article which explained clearly that this is an in vitro technique (Guardian Neurophilosophy Blog by Mo Costandi).

So this new technique is a method to image biological tissues post mortem. The brain passes through a process where it is put into preparation gels and liquids, and after that it is ready to be properly imaged in a electron microscope (or other techniques such as fluorescence microscope), without the need of slicing it. The innovation here is the use of the new Clarity gel, which holds everything together, while fat components are eliminated (fat is what prevents the brain from being imaged correctly). 

Nature video which shows spectacular images using nice visualization techniques:

Other Links:

No comments:

Post a Comment