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Imaging System for Creating 3D Block-Face Cryo-Images Of Whole Mice

Roy, Debashish; Breen, Michael; Salvado, Olivier; Heinzel, Meredith; McKinley, Eliot; Wilson, David
We developed a cryomicrotome/imaging system that provides high resolution, high sensitivity block-face images of whole mice or excised organs, and applied it to a variety of biological applications. With this cryo-imaging system, we sectioned cryo-preserved tissues at 2-40 μm thickness and acquired high resolution brightfield and fluorescence images with microscopic in-plane resolution (as good as 1.2 μm). Brightfield images of normal and pathological anatomy show exquisite detail, especially in the abdominal cavity. Multi-planar reformatting and 3D renderings allow one to interrogate 3D structures. In this report, we present brightfield images of mouse anatomy, as well as 3D renderings of organs. For BPK mice model of polycystic kidney disease, we compared brightfield cryo-images and kidney volumes to MRI. The color images provided greater contrast and resolution of cysts as compared to in vivo MRI. We note that color cryo-images are closer to what a researcher sees in dissection, making it easier for them to interpret image data. The combination of field of view, depth of field, ultra high resolution and color/fluorescence contrast enables cryo-image volumes to provide details that cannot be found through in vivo imaging or other ex vivo optical imaging approaches. We believe that this novel imaging system will have applications that include identification of mouse phenotypes, characterization of diseases like blood vessel disease, kidney disease, and cancer, assessment of drug and gene therapy delivery and efficacy and validation of other imaging modalities.
PMID: 19802364
ISSN: 0277-786x
CID: 5013722