|20X magnification of the somatosensory cortex of a mouse |
brain slice. These little guys have green flourescent
protein (GFP) from a jelly-fish expressed in a subset of
their neurons. Layer V neuron cell bodies are
the teardrop shaped things at the bottom
and then the dendrite reaches up like a tree to
then bifurcate near the top (pial surface).
by Robert Cudmore
The procedure involves suspending the brain, or other tissue, in the hydrogel matrix which then forms a hybrid with the proteins, nucleic acids and small molecules found in the organ. The fats are excluded and can be dissolved away in an electric field and the fine structures of the brain can then be observed. This technique will hopefully reveal how different diseases affect brain structure.