Method of Thick Specimen Imaging

Summary Conventional light microscopy can be used to visualize fine details of complex structures at or within microns of the surface of histological specimens. To see below the surface of a specimen, histologists currently slice it into thin sections to bring deeper structures to the surface. The precise spatial relationship between structures represented in different slices can be difficult or impossible to determine, however, because of distortions introduced by conventional tissue processing. The invention makes it possible for a microscope to image cells and tissues through the full thickness of the specimen without the losses and misalignment normally associated with sectioning. The imaging method can be fully automated and can be implemented with any imaging system. The actual volume that can be imaged is limited only by the size of structure that can be mounted for sectioning, and by computer power and memory for imaging and reconstruction.

Applications Our invention offers the ability to image and seamlessly reconstruct full-thickness three-dimensional tissue and cell structures without the distortion and registration problems normally caused by traditional sectioning techniques. It can be implemented as either an add-on to existing microscopes or an integral part of new designs and is compatible with many existing fluorescence imaging techniques, including confocal, multiphoton, and epifluorescence microscopy. High resolution spatial mapping of tissue volumes in their natural configuration has a wide variety of applications in cellular and tissue research, pathology, and medical diagnostics. For example, it can be used in neural development studies to image the projection patterns of neural structures. In addition to cell and tissue specimens, the invention can be used to image any soft structure.

Additional Information:
Examples of neural structure images obtained with this technique are available at:

Patent status: Pending For Further Information Please Contact the Director of Business Development Vivian Berlin Email: Telephone: (617) 495-0474

Inventor(s): Turney, Stephen Garnet

Type of Offer: Licensing

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