University of Minnesota
University Imaging Center
University Imaging Centers - Where the University sees the future

UIC Update: I Can See Clearly Now...

The University Imaging Centers (UIC) is excited to announce new capabilities to our sample preparation services to include whole tissue clearing and labeling. Biological specimens are intrinsically three-dimensional; however light scattering while imaging deeply into a tissue volume is problematic. Efforts to eliminate the scatter by “clearing” the tissue have been ongoing for well over a century, with a large number of recent innovations, under names such as CLARITY, PACT/PARS, iDISCO, SeeDB, CUBIC, Scale and a host of others.

The subsequent imaging of this cleared tissue is the next challenge and single and multi-photon confocal microscopes and light-sheet instruments are leading the way in resolution and speed of acquisition.

A third challenge is the data. With dataset in the 10s to 1000s of GBs per image the data’s shear volume is a significant challenge.

The UIC is expanding its service offering in all three areas.  1) we will be hiring a full-time staff member to identify the best clearing methodology. We have also optimized clearing methods using microwave-assisted methods developed in the UIC as well as commercial clearing systems (XClarity).  We have posted a position (UIC Clearing Job) to validate and optimize the appropriate clearing methodology for our expansive user base.  2) We have macro and micro-scale objectives specially designed for cleared tissue for our confocal and diSPIM light sheet systems. We are further evaluating additional imaging tools to add to our imaging resources.  3) We have added to our computational hardware and software (OpenSPIM, AMIRA, Imaris and Nikon Elements) These efforts are possible thanks to the joint support of ITN, the MDT addiction team, Department of Neuroscience, the AHC/Medical School, the OVPR’s office and the UIC.