Every year around 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke, where part of the brain shuts down because of a blocked blood vessel. Treatment during and after a stroke can help ensure a sound recovery, but our brain is a tangled mass of cells and blood vessels, and it can be difficult to monitor progress. Here, part of a live mouse’s brain has been viewed through a thinned section of the skull, and captured using a technique called optical coherence tomography, which gives an accurate 3D picture of the blood vessels. Vessels near the brain surface are coloured yellow and orange, and deeper ones are coloured green. This snapshot was taken seven days after a stroke – the curly yellow vessels near the centre are parts that have regenerated. This technique, coupled with measurements of blood flow, allows researchers to hone in on the affected area and monitor recovery.
Written by Emma Stoye
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.