I’ve written about CLARITY tissue clearing techniques last year. What I did not mention is that there are so many of other tissue clearing techniques right now. The recent advances in these techniques allow to visualize spacial relationships between cell networks inside of “unsectioned” whole organ or even whole body. This is entirely different new approach to understanding normal development and pathology on cellular and tissue level in 3D. That’s why there is a great interest to it among researchers.
There is a number of recent tissue clearing techniques, described in the last few years: CLARITY, Advanced CLARITY, CUBIC, Scale, 3DISCO, iDISCO. Currently, there are a lot of modifications of these techniques and many protocols freely available online (see examples here, here, here and here). The success of these new visualization techniques is a marriage of at least 3 groups of methodologies: (1) tissues clearing, (2) cell labeling and (3) microscopy. For the latter, I’d like to highlight the Nature’s Method of the year 2014 – light-sheet microscopy. Also check new growing trend “volume imaging”.
The recent editorial in Nature Methods discusses two very recent tissue clearing techniques – CUBIC and iDISCO.
I hope these new tissue clearing techniques will be adapted by stem cell researchers in 2015!