High-contrast differentiation resolution 3D imaging of rodent brain by X-ray computed microtomography
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The biomedically focused brain research is largely performed on laboratory mice considering a high homology between the human and mouse genomes. A brain has an intricate and highly complex geometrical structure that is hard to display and analyse using only 2D methods. Applying some fast and efficient methods of brain visualization in 3D will be crucial for the neurobiology in the future. A post-mortem analysis of experimental animals' brains usually involves techniques such as magnetic resonance and computed tomography. These techniques are employed to visualize abnormalities in the brains' morphology or reparation processes. The X-ray computed microtomography (micro CT) plays an important role in the 3D imaging of internal structures of a large variety of soft and hard tissues. This non-destructive technique is applied in biological studies because the lab-based CT devices enable to obtain a several-micrometer resolution. However, this technique is always used along with some visualization methods, which are based on the tissue staining and thus differentiate soft tissues in biological samples. Here, a modified chemical contrasting protocol of tissues for a micro CT usage is introduced as the best tool for ex vivo 3D imaging of a post-mortem mouse brain. This way, the micro CT provides a high spatial resolution of the brain microscopic anatomy together with a high tissue differentiation contrast enabling to identify more anatomical details in the brain. As the micro CT allows a consequent reconstruction of the brain structures into a coherent 3D model, some small morphological changes can be given into context of their mutual spatial relationships.
KeywordsComputerized Tomography (CT) and Computed Radiography (CR); MRI (whole body, cardiovascular, breast, others), MR-angiography (MRA)
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceJournal of Instrumentation. 2018, vol. 13, issue 2, p. 1-12.