Laboratório Nacional de Biociências
Imaging is an increasingly important tool in both basic and applied research in biology. An array of imaging techniques provides the unprecedented capability of visualizing organs and cell architecture and function. These techniques show a great resolution from the level of individual molecules to the whole structure. In neuroscience, the neuronal morphology, activity, and pattern of the network are the basis for understanding brain function in health and disease. Therefore, the deep understanding of these features, such as neurons, may help to uncover the whole functioning of the brain as a unit. From X-ray microtomography to optical microscopy in vivo or in vitro, researchers have been able to depict the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind brain functioning. In addition, several 3D imaging methods allow the visualization and understanding of neural networks, disease pathways, and more in whole tissues. In the past years, 3D neuroimaging (from computed tomography, serial block-face microscopy, MRI or ultrasonography) has increased in popularity bringing the ability to collect large-scale datasets. However, a good data collection obtained from images is largely dependent on a high-quality sample. Thereby, sample preparation is a key step to the acquisition of successful results from images. JoVE is an exceptional platform to broadcast, in a didactic manner, techniques and make them accessible to more researchers.
This methods collection focuses on the state-of-the-art 3D imaging techniques used in neuroscience. It covers points from sample preparation to data analysis, in order to showcase the strategies used to depict cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in health and in pathologies of the nervous system.