Navigational brain views using powerful x-rays: 5 insights

Written by Mackenzie Garrity | October 19, 2017 | Print  |

A recent study published in eNeuro explains the use of powerful x-rays to display 3-D microstructures of the brain without splitting the brain into numerous sections. Results show using x-ray tomography achieves rapid quantification of large brain volumes.

Here are five insights:

 

1. Visualizing 3-D neuroanatomical samples has traditionally been a challenge due to old methods requiring the segmentation of tissue and then aligning each section into a 3-D mold.

 

2. To receive large images of the brain, researchers used x-ray photons generated in a synchrotron, a facility the size of dozens of football fields. The powerful x-ray tomography scanner allowed researches to view intact neural areas much larger than in microscope imaging.

 

3. Synchrotron x-ray microtomography also revealed capillary grids interlacing brain tissues. And while electron microscopy captures neuronal details, this technique makes greater visuals of broad neural signals. Study authors noted mesoscale imaging reveals a spatial view on hundreds of neurons, instead of single

neurons.

 

4. To get the x-ray to a graphic image to thinks section of the brain is rotated in the high-energy x-ray that was transformed into an image similar to the output of a CT scanner. Study authors then identified the structures and characteristics before being computed into 3-D color-coded, vasculature and cell bodies.

 

5. Individual cells were easy to identify and often the nuclei were visible in the x-ray tomography image. Researchers were also able to identify axons wrapped in myelin.

 

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