Highest-resolution in-vivo images of mouse brain achieved

February 3, 2012

STED microscopy of dendritic and axonal structures in the somatosensory cortex of a mouse, with neurons labeled by enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (credit: Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry)

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany led by Stefan Hell have imaged living neurons at less than 70 nanometers for the first time.

The scientists used optogenetics to insert an extra gene that generates a yellow glow in mice brains, then used the Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy technique developed by Hell to view synapses in neurons through a glass-sealed window in the skull.

Ref.: Sebastian Berning et al., Nanoscopy in a living mouse brain, Science, 2012 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1215369]