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Scientists create 3-D models of whole mouse organs
Date:6/24/2010

agen is depicted as green while elastin shows up as red).

"The intrinsic fluorescence is just as effective as conventional staining techniques," said Michael Levene, associate professor at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science and the team leader. "It's like creating a virtual 3D biopsy that can be manipulated at will. And you have the added benefit that the tissue remains intact even after it's been imaged."

The Yale team was able to reach depths in excess of two millimetersdeep enough to image complete mouse organs. Typical tissue samples taken during patient biopsies are about this size as well, meaning the new technique could be used to create 3D models of biopsies, Levene said. This could be especially useful in tissues where the direction of a cancerous growth may make it difficult to know how to slice tissue sample, he noted.

In addition, the technology could eventually be used to trace fluorescent proteins in the mouse brain and see where different genes are expressed, or to trace where drugs travel in the body using fluorescent tagging, for example.

"Fluorescence microscopy plays such a key role throughout biology and medicine," Leven said. "The range of applications of this technique is immense, including everything from improved evaluation of patient tissue biopsies to fundamental studies of how the brain is wired."


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Contact: Suzanne Taylor Muzzin
suzanne.taylormuzzin@yale.edu
203-432-8555
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

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