Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
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



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: A scheme for the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC). (1) Isolate and culture donor cells. (2) Transfect stem cell-associated genes into the cells by viral vectors. Red cells indicate the cells expressing the exogenous genes. (3)  Harvest and culture the cells using mitotically inactivated feeder cells. (4) A small subset of the transfected cells forms iPSC cell colonies (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Innovative Technique Produces More Reliable Pluripotent Stem Cells

A recent paper described a more reliable way to induce the formation of pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from adult cells in a mouse model. Reliable high-quality iPSCs are needed for the development of... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: S-649266 has more robust antibacterial activity than established antibiotics against multidrug-resistant bacteria (Photo courtesy of Shionogi).

Novel Antibiotic Shows Potential for Broad Range of Infections

The emergence of bacterial resistance to known antibacterial agents is becoming a major challenge in treating the infection caused by multi drug resistant (MDR) bacteria. In order to treat bacterial... Read more

Business

view channel

Collaboration of Mayo Clinic and IBM Cognitive Computer Devised to Improve Clinical Trial Research

The Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) and IBM (Armonk, NY, USA) recently announced plans to pilot Watson, the IBM cognitive computer, to match patients more rapidly with suitable clinical trials. A proof-of-concept phase is currently ongoing, with the intent to introduce it into clinical use in early 2015.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.