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Neurolight -astonishing advances in brain imaging

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Ewa Rojczyk-Gołębiewska
  • Artur Pałasz
  • John J. Worthington
  • Grzegorz Markowski
  • Ryszard Wiaderkiewicz
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>The International Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)91-99
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date14/04/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In recent years, significant advances in basic neuroanatomical studies have taken place. Moreover, such classical, clinically-oriented human brain imaging methods such as MRI, PET and DTI have been applied to small laboratory animals allowing improvement in current experimental neuroscience. Contemporary structural neurobiology also uses various technologies based on fluorescent proteins. One of these is optogenetics, which integrates physics, genetics and bioengineering to enable temporal precise control of electrical activity of specific neurons. Another important challenge in the field is the accurate imaging of complicated neural networks. To address this problem, three-dimensional reconstruction techniques and retrograde labeling with modified viruses has been developed. However, a revolutionary step was the invention of the "Brainbow" system, utilizing gene constructs including the sequences of fluorescent proteins and the usage of Cre recombinase to create dozens of colour combinations, enabling visualization of neurons and their connections in extremely high resolution. Furthermore, the newly- introduced CLARITY method should make it possible to visualize three-dimensionally the structure of translucent brain tissue using the hydrogel polymeric network. This original technique is a big advance in neuroscience creating novel viewpoints completely different than standard glass slide immunostaining.