Thursday, April 25, 2013
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Optical imaging of
structural and molecular features in intact brain tissue
A method of rendering
intact brain tissue amenable to optical imaging could help identify new drug
targets. Treatment of whole brains or brain tissue from mice, zebrafish and
humans with hydrogel monomers and an electrophoretic tissue-clearing
technique resulted in an optically transparent hydrogel-tissue hybrid. In
transformed tissue, multiple rounds of fluorescence imaging enabled
visualization of various features including long-range projections, protein
complexes and neurotransmitters. In a frontal lobe sample from a deceased
patient with autism, the method revealed interneuronal dendritic bridges that
were not seen in normal, age-matched tissue. Next steps could include using
the method to identify disease-related structural or molecular features in brain
tissue from models for CNS diseases.
Published online April 25, 2013
Patent and licensing status
Chung, K. et al. Nature;
published online April 10, 2013;
Contact: Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University, Stanford,
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