Greetings! This website is a showcase of neuroscientific images, from artists across the world and across time. Instead of the brain at large, the artwork you will find here is centred on the microscopic circuitry that makes up the brain.
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Last updated: 07 March 2021 — Hosting 113 images
In 2014, a research team led by Etsuo Susaki and Hiroki Ueda at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan developed a 3D tissue clearing technology called CUBIC, which can image the whole body at the single-cell level by making tissue transparent.
While tissue clearing can result in fantastical images, by itself it does not have much scientific value. In order for tissue clearing to be meaningful, scientists need to be able to stain and label specific tissues and cell types, which can then be studied. This requires a system that works with a wide range of staining agents and antibodies. Although several types of 3D staining and labeling methods have been attempted, none has been versatile enough.
Realizing that they needed a better understanding of body tissue, the team at BDR and their colleagues performed detailed physical and chemical analyses. They found that biological tissues can be defined as a type of electrolyte gel.
Based on the tissue properties they discovered, they constructed a screening system to examine a series of conditions using artificial gels that can mimic biological tissues. By analyzing the staining and antibody labeling of artificial gels with CUBIC, they were able to establish a fine-tuned, versatile 3D-staining/imaging method, which they named CUBIC-HistoVIsion.
By analyzing the staining and antibody labeling of artificial gels with CUBIC, they were able to establish a fine-tuned, versatile 3D-staining/imaging method, which they named CUBIC-HistoVIsion. By using this optimized system with high-speed 3D microscopic imaging, they succeeded in staining and imaging the whole brain of a mouse, half a marmoset brain, and a square centimeter of human brain tissue. Whole-body 3D imaging of an infant marmoset was also successful. The system worked well with about 30 different antibodies and nuclear staining agents, making it useful for scientists in many different fields, from studying the brain to studying kidney function.
Source: RIKEN, Apr. 2020