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Clear 3D view of eye blood vessel network development enabled by new approach

22 November 2022

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Healthy vision counts on a healthy blood supply. It’s why so many eye diseases that cause blindness involve disrupting the eye’s blood vessels. During development, your eyes create no less than three different blood vessel networks –  hyaloid, choroidal and retinal – with the hyaloid network disappearing as the retinal network appears. Investigating this process has proven difficult using traditional histology techniques as this destroys the structure of these networks. Researchers now present an approach to overcome this: light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LFSM) of isolated mouse eyes chemically treated to become transparent. Analysis of these microscopy images allowed researchers to measure and quantify the development of the hyaloid network over time and in 3D (pictured), as well as the distribution of various cell populations in different parts of the eye. This model, therefore, aids investigations into cell interactions across the whole eye so researchers can better probe eye health and disease.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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