Looking back at a photo of everyone in your school, you may struggle to find your own face in the crowd. When you finally do, a grainy pixelated version of yourself may be all you see. A similar problem occurs when researchers image whole embryos or tissues. Confocal microscopy is used to capture slices through a tissue; stitching these image slices together produces a picture with great depth but lacking detail. Researchers have now developed a special lens – the Mesolens – that allows a whole embryo to be imaged using confocal microscopy while also capturing subcellular structures. The resulting 3D images can be delved and zoomed into to reveal finer details. In this video of a 3D picture created by imaging a mouse embryo with the Mesolens, individual nerve cells (cyan) and even cell nuclei (red) can be seen. The power of Mesolens technology has broad applications across biomedical research.
Written by Lux Fatimathas
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.