Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
PZ HTL SA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

"Transparent Brain" Expected to Yield Breakthroughs in Understanding Neurological Disorders

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 25 Apr 2013
Replacement of the brain's fat content with a clear, permeable gel allows optical, fluorescent, and electron microscope studies as well as immunohistochemical analyses to be carried out on intact tissues that have not been damaged or modified by sample preparation techniques.

Investigators at Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA, USA) developed a novel method for creating a "transparent" brain by replacing fat tissue with a clear, permeable gel. The technique was based on infusing a cocktail of reagents, including a plastic-like polymer and formaldehyde, into a mouse brain. When heated, the solution formed a transparent, porous gel that biochemically integrated with, and physically supported, the brain tissue while excluding the lipids, which were removed via an electrochemical process. The process was named CLARITY for Clear Lipid-exchanged Anatomically Rigid Imaging/Immunostaining-compatible Tissue Hydrogel.

A report in the April 10, 2013, online edition of the journal Nature revealed initial results obtained with a CLARITY-treated mouse brain. These results showed intact-tissue imaging of long-range projections, local circuit wiring, cellular relationships, subcellular structures, protein complexes, nucleic acids, and neurotransmitters. CLARITY also enabled intact-tissue in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry with multiple rounds of staining and de-staining in nonsectioned tissue, and antibody labeling throughout the intact adult mouse brain.

In addition, CLARITY enabled fine structural analysis of clinical samples, including nonsectioned human tissue from a formaldehyde-preserved postmortem human brain from a person who had autism, establishing a path for the transmutation of human tissue into a stable, intact, and accessible form suitable for probing structural and molecular underpinnings of physiological function and disease.

“CLARITY will help support integrative understanding of large-scale, intact biological systems,” said senior author Dr. Karl Deisseroth, professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University. “It provides access to subcellular proteins and molecules, while preserving the continuity of intact neuronal structures such as long-range circuit projections, local circuit wiring, and cellular spatial relationships.”

Related Links:
Stanford University



Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: The TheraCyte cell encapsulation device (Photo courtesy of TheraCyte, Inc.).

Encapsulated Human-Insulin-Producing Progenitor Cells Cure Diabetes in Mouse Model

A breakthrough system that allows subcutaneous implantation of encapsulated immature pancreatic cells (beta progenitor cells) was shown to produce enough insulin to correct the symptoms of diabetes in a mouse model.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Chitosan is derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceans, including Alaskan pink shrimp, pictured here (Photo courtesy of NOAA - [US] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Chitosan Treatment Clears the Way for Antibiotics to Eliminate Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Recurrent urinary tract infection was successfully resolved in a mouse model by treatment with the exfoliant chitosan followed by a round of antibiotics. Bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI), most... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Mitochondrial Cause of Aging Can Be Reversed

Researchers have found a cause of aging in lab animals that can be reversed, possibly providing an avenue for new treatments for age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, muscle wasting, and inflammatory diseases. The researchers plan to begin human trials late 2014. The study, which was published December... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients. Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may... Read more

Business

view channel

Analytical Sciences Trade Fair Declared a Rousing Success

Organizers of this year's 24th "analytica" biosciences trade fair have reported significant increases in both the number of visitors and exhibitors compared to the 2012 event. The analytica trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, and biotechnology has been held at the Munich (Germany) Trade Fair Center every... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.