A new method for making mouse organs transparent for imaging has been developed. The method is simple, rapid, and robust, and could be used to study a variety of organs and tissues.
The method, called “tissue hydrogel clearing”, uses a detergent to remove lipids from the tissue, followed by a cross-linking agent to stabilize the tissue. This results in a tissue that is transparent and can be imaged with high resolution.
The major advantage of this method is that it is much faster than existing methods, and does not require special equipment or expertise. Additionally, the method is applicable to a variety of organs and tissues, including the brain, heart, and lungs.
This new method could be used to study a variety of diseases and to develop new treatments. Additionally, the method could be used for other purposes, such as to create 3D models of organs for medical education.
The developers of the method hope that it will be widely adopted and used to further our understanding of the body and to improve human health.
In a study published in Nature Methods, Harvard University scientists have developed a new method for making mammalian organs transparent that could enable unprecedented views of entire organ systems in living animals.
This new ” organs-on-a-chip” technology could ultimately allow researchers to image organ systems in living animals with unprecedented resolution and clarity, potentially leading to new insights into biomedical and developmental processes.
The technique, which the authors have dubbed “maximal clarity,” is based on a simple chemical treatment that makes mammalian organs and tissues transparent without the need for bulky optics or special imaging equipment.
“Our goal was to develop a method that would allow us to see as much detail as possible in whole organs and organ systems,” said senior author Peng Yin, a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and a professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School (HMS). “What we’ve developed is a way to see much more clearly into living systems than was previously possible.”
To test their method, the authors used it to image the guts of live mice. They found that they could readily see the architecture of the entire gastrointestinal tract, as well as the distribution of bacteria and other microorganisms in the gut.
“This is just the beginning,” said first author Wei Zhu, a research fellow at the Wyss Institute and HMS. “We are already working on ways to improve the clarity of the images even further and to extend this method to other organs.”
The new technique could potentially be used to study a wide range of biological processes, including the development and progression of disease.
“This is a transformative technology that could have a major impact on the way we study biology,” said Yin. “We are just scratch the surface of what’s possible.”