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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2016 Aug;40:193-207. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2016.03.012. Epub 2016 Jul 6.

Extracting structural and functional features of widely distributed biological circuits with single cell resolution via tissue clearing and delivery vectors.

Author information

1
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.
2
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA. Electronic address: viviana@caltech.edu.

Abstract

The scientific community has learned a great deal from imaging small and naturally transparent organisms such as nematodes and zebrafish. The consequences of genetic mutations on their organ development and survival can be visualized easily and with high-throughput at the organism-wide scale. In contrast, three-dimensional information is less accessible in mammalian subjects because the heterogeneity of light-scattering tissue elements renders their organs opaque. Likewise, genetically labeling desired circuits across mammalian bodies is prohibitively slow and costly via the transgenic route. Emerging breakthroughs in viral vector engineering, genome editing tools, and tissue clearing can render larger opaque organisms genetically tractable and transparent for whole-organ cell phenotyping, tract tracing and imaging at depth.

PMID:
27393829
PMCID:
PMC4975678
DOI:
10.1016/j.copbio.2016.03.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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