CENTER VALLEY, Pa., Dec. 5, 2011 - Olympus today introduced another advanced 25x super-long-working-distance microscope objective designed to be used with the SCALEVIEW-A2 clearing reagent - this one delivering vivid 3D image capture of structures 8mm deep, much further into contiguous tissue than was ever possible before. The 8mm objective is the second high-performance optic Olympus has designed for the breakthrough SCALEVIEW-A2 imaging technique first developed at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan. The company recently introduced a high-performance 4mm-working-distance 25x objective designed to be used with the SCALEVIEW-A2 reagent. The new 8mm objective, which has a numerical aperture (NA) of 0.9, may be ordered from Olympus now.
Both objectives have been optimized to be used with the SCALEVIEW-A2 reagent and the Olympus FluoView FV1000®-MPE multiphoton microscope to collect images. Together, they provide detailed, crisp images captured at unprecedented depths within brain and other tissues. Scientists envision the possibility of using the 25x, 8mm working distance objective and its companion 25x, 4mm objective with the reagent for developmental biology studies and for imaging and mapping the brain and other organs.
The SCALEVIEW-A2 reagent is significant because most bodily tissues are opaque, making it difficult for researchers to see inside. The reagent literally makes tissue transparent and minimizes light scatter. When used together with either of the Olympus objectives, which are optimized for the reagent's refractive index, the system allows scientists to peer several times deeper into tissue. In the mouse brain, for instance, the RIKEN team has imaged neurons 8mm beneath the surface.
A further advantage comes from eliminating most tissue slicing. Until now, most optical microscopy techniques required slicing dead biological tissue into very thin sections, damaging the specimens and making it challenging to visualize how slices fit together. It was especially difficult to visualize how neural filaments connect in the brain. By eliminating most slicing, the connectivity of the brain and other organs can be imaged intact.
"I'm very excited about the potential," said Dr. Atsushi Miyawaki, part of the RIKEN research team in a recent interview with The New York Times. Dr. Miyawaki's team is working on imaging the mouse brain as part of the worldwide Connectome project - a global effort to understand the structure, interconnectivity and function of animal and human brains. The reagent and objectives may help neuroscientists map the architecture of the mouse brain.
For more information on the SCALEVIEW-A2 reagent and the 8mm and 4mm SCALEVIEW 25x objectives, contact Yiwei Jia (yiwei.jia@Olympus.com) or Brendan Brinkman (brendan.brinkman@Olympus.com) at Olympus America Inc., or visit http://www.olympusamerica.com/seg_section/seg_scaleview_a2.asp.
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