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Multi-Scale Light-Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy for Fast Whole Brain Imaging


Whole-brain imaging has become an increasingly important approach to investigate neural structures, such as somata distribution, dendritic morphology, and axonal projection patterns. Different structures require whole-brain imaging at different resolutions. Thus, it is highly desirable to perform whole-brain imaging at multiple scales. Imaging a complete mammalian brain at synaptic resolution is especially challenging, as it requires continuous imaging from days to weeks because of the large number of voxels to sample, and it is difficult to acquire a constant quality of imaging because of light scattering during in toto imaging. Here, we reveal that light-sheet microscopy has a unique advantage over wide-field microscopy in multi-scale imaging because of its decoupling of illumination and detection. Based on this observation, we have developed a multi-scale light-sheet microscope that combines tiling of light-sheet, automatic zooming, periodic sectioning, and tissue expansion to achieve a constant quality of brain-wide imaging from cellular (3 μm × 3 μm × 8 μm) to sub-micron (0.3 μm × 0.3 μm × 1 μm) spatial resolution rapidly (all within a few hours). We demonstrated the strength of the system by testing it using mouse brains prepared using different clearing approaches. We were able to track electrode tracks as well as axonal projections at sub-micron resolution to trace the full morphology of single medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons that have remarkable diversity in long-range projections.


Zhouzhou Zhang, Xiao Yao, Xinxin Yin, Zhangcan Ding, Tianyi Huang, Yan Huo, Runan Ji, Hanchuan Peng, Zengcai V. Guo

Published: 2021

PMID: 34630049



Research Area:

Methodological Studies