Imaging heart development using high-resolution episcopic microscopy.
Bottom Line: Development of the heart in vertebrate embryos is a complex process in which the organ is continually remodelled as chambers are formed, valves sculpted and connections established to the developing vascular system.A recurrent challenge in this work is how to integrate studies as diverse as those of cardiac gene function and regulation with an appreciation of the localised interactions between cardiac tissues not to mention the manner in which both may be affected by cardiac function itself.Meeting this challenge requires an accurate way to analyse the changes in 3D morphology of the developing heart, which can be swift or protracted and both dramatic or subtle in consequence.
Affiliation: MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK. email@example.comShow MeSH
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Mentions: Episcopic 3D imaging methods provide a solution to this problem, replacing individual section images with images of the embedded tissue block face [18•,19•,20–24]. High-resolution episcopic microscopy (HREM) has proved the most effective of these, using the simple expedient of fluorescent dyes in the plastic embedding medium to obtain very detailed greyscale images from a wide range of biological tissues and optical magnifications [25••]. For this reason it is particularly well suited to provide accurate data sets with which to explore the changing morphology of the developing heart (Figure 1a). Automation of a relatively rapid image capture cycle and the ability to choose inter-image distances as little as 1 μm with HREM equipment have several important benefits.
Affiliation: MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org