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Detailed 3D imaging of organs using ultraviolet-excited sectioning tomography and molecular staining

12 December 2022

Trust Your Eyes

"Can’t see the wood for the trees". It isn’t just an old English proverb, it’s also a problem scientists grapple with when imaging whole organs during animal model experiments. They want to see the fine details (the trees) but also capture the entire organ (the wood). Researchers now present an affordable, rapid and high-resolution approach to image whole organs in 3D called TRUST (Translational Rapid Ultraviolet-excited Sectioning Tomography). Using an inexpensive ultraviolet LED light and a colour camera, TRUST imaging of sections through mouse tissue captured images of fluorescent dyes bound to specific molecules and autofluorescence generated by unstained tissue. The result? Detailed 3D images of whole mouse organs, such as the brain and heart, as well as tissue networks, such as blood vessels of the brain (pictured) and nerves. Entire mouse embryos were also imaged, revealing how TRUST can help investigate health and disease, as well as development.

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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