Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Advances in 3D Imaging - IV Clear as MAX

New solution called MAX for tissue clearing and 3D imaging

15 December 2022

Clear as MAX

To really understand the complexity of our tissues, you need to peel back the layers to see what’s happening on the inside. 3D imaging allows researchers to do this while keeping tissues perfectly intact. However, to get the clearest images, tissues must first be made transparent using a laborious process called tissue clearing. In a bid to simplify this process, researchers focused on one crucial stage that usually involves multiple steps – changing the tissue's refractive index, that is, how it bends light. The team developed a new recipe for the solution into which tissues are placed during the clearing process. This solution, called MAX, allowed the refractive index to be changed in one simple step. MAX was successfully tested on tissues from humans, mice, rats, chickens and zebrafish, as pictured here using fluorescence microscopy of the blood vessels (red) and neurons (green) of a whole mouse brain.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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