TECH

Laser Microscope Reveals Stunning 3D Images Of The Brain In Unprecedented Detail

The brain is the most complex computer in the known universe.

10/11/2017 01:00 GMT

A revolutionary new laser-enabled microscope has been able to capture the stunning intricacies of the brain in unprecedented detail.

These incredibly detailed images are helping us better understand the brain on a cellular level and in turn how it can go wrong in the form of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Developed by Scottish technology firm M Squared, the Aurora light-sheet microscope is able to produce 3D images accurate enough to capture the neural connections themselves.

Dr Anthony Vernon and Robert Chesters

This stunning image actually shows the nerves ‘firing’ inside the brain of a mouse revealing just how fantastically complex it is.

By being able to better see our brains and in turn see how they work in 3D, these images are helping further our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The Aurora microscope is able to capture high-contrast 3D images up to 500 times faster than conventional confocal microscopy techniques.

Dr Anthony Vernon and Robert Chesters

Being able to accurately map large biological structures at the cellular level has proven difficult in the past.

While we know that certain chemicals can induce changes in how the brain operates (in the case of Alzheimer’s for example) what we know far less about however is how they interact with each other at the sub-micron level.

Aurora enables scientists and researchers to do this.

Dr Deepak Srivastava, Director of the Wohl Cellular Imaging Centre at Kings College London commended the performance of the new microscope saying: 

“The Wohl Cellular Imaging Centre (WCIC) provides advanced and cutting-edge light microscopy solutions for neuroscientists and related life sciences with the aim of helping to advance breakthrough discoveries in the development and treatment of life-changing illnesses.”

“Aurora has already allowed researchers to gain unprecedented insight into key scientific questions.”