Rapid imaging of a living brain

Using a new high-speed, high-resolution imaging method, researchers at Washington University were able to see blood flow, blood oxygenation, oxygen metabolism, and other functions inside a living mouse brain at faster rates than ever before.

The new method is called “photoacoustic microscopy” (PAM), a single-wavelength, pulse-width-based technique developed by Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and his team.

Optogenetics captures neuronal transmission

EPFL scientists,Aurélie Pala and Carl Petersen, have observed and measured synaptic transmission in a live animal for the first time, using “Optogenetics” that combines genetics with the physics of light.

Using these approaches, the researchers looked at how the light-sensitive neurons connected to some of their neighbors: small, connector neurons called “interneurons”. In the brain, interneurons are usually inhibitory.

Neuron 1/15

ENIGMA mapping brain’s genetic code

The ENIGMA Network is an international network that brings together researchers in imaging genomics, neurology and psychiatry, to understand brain structure and function, based on MRI, DTI, fMRI, genetic data and many patient populations.

Enigma is an acronym for Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta Analysis. ENIGMA has found 8 common gene mutations leading to brain age in over 30,000 brain scans that may some day unlock mysteries of Alzheimer’s, autism and other neurological disorders.

Expansion microscopy and super-resolution

MIT engineers have developed a way to make a brain expand to about four and a half times its usual size, allowing nanoscale structures to appear sharp with an ordinary confocal microscope.

The new “expansion microscopy” technique uses an expandable polymer and water to enable researchers to achieve “super-resolution” without the slower performance of existing “super-resolution” microscopes.

New tools to probe brain’s mysteries

A University of Otago researcher is part of an international collaboration that has developed an exciting and expansive new set of tools to probe cell types in the brain.

This workpartly involves using techniques that manipulate the genes of a small subset of cells so that the cells glow under fluorescent microscopes. By manipulating unique gene markers for each cell type into fluorescent labels or probes, the structure and function of various types of neurons can be visualized and studied. Neuron 3/6/15

Blending High-end Imaging Techniques

Vanderbilt University researchers have achieved the first “image fusion” of mass spectrometry and microscopy that could, among other things, dramatically improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Combining the best features of both imaging modalities allows scientists to see the molecular make-up of tissues in high resolution.

Nature Methods 2/23/2015

Skip to toolbar