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In vivo optical imaging has enabled detailed studies of cellular dynamics in the brain of rodents in both healthy and diseased states. Such studies were made possible by three advances: surgical preparations that give optical access to the brain; strategies for in vivo labeling of cells with structural and functional fluorescent indicators; and optical imaging techniques that are relatively insensitive to light scattering by tissue. In vivo imaging in the rodent spinal cord has lagged behind than that in the brain, largely due to the anatomy around the spinal cord that complicates the surgical preparation, and to the strong optical scattering of the dorsal white matter that limits the ability to image deep into the spinal cord. Here, we review recent advances in surgical methods, labeling strategies, and optical tools that have enabled in vivo, high-resolution imaging of the dynamic behaviors of cells in the spinal cord in mice. Surgical preparations that enable long-term optical access and robust stabilization of the spinal cord are now available. Labeling strategies that have been used in the spinal cord tend to follow those that have been used in the brain, and some recent advances in genetically-encoded labeling strategies remain to be capitalized on. The optical imaging methods used to date, including two photon excited fluorescence microscopy, are largely limited to imaging the superficial layers of the spinal cord by the optical scattering of the white matter. Finally, we show preliminary data that points to the use of higher-order nonlinear optical processes, such as three photon excited fluorescence, as a means to image deeper into the mouse spinal cord.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Experimental neurology
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Techniques for labeling a substance with a stable or radioactive isotope. It is not used for articles involving labeled substances unless the methods of labeling are substantively discussed. Tracers that may be labeled include chemical substances, cells, or microorganisms.
Surgical techniques in which SUTURES are not applied to surgical wounds.
The use of light interaction (scattering, absorption, and fluorescence) with biological tissue to obtain morphologically based information. It includes measuring inherent tissue optical properties such as scattering, absorption, and autofluorescence; or optical properties of exogenous targeted fluorescent molecular probes such as those used in optical MOLECULAR IMAGING, or nontargeted optical CONTRAST AGENTS.
Techniques utilizing cells that express RECOMBINANT FUSION PROTEINS engineered to translocate through the CELL MEMBRANE and remain attached to the outside of the cell.
Immunologic techniques based on the use of: (1) enzyme-antibody conjugates; (2) enzyme-antigen conjugates; (3) antienzyme antibody followed by its homologous enzyme; or (4) enzyme-antienzyme complexes. These are used histologically for visualizing or labeling tissue specimens.
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Spinal Cord Disorders
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of the back which carry signals back and forth between the body and brain. It is protected by vertebrae, which are the bone disks that make up the spine. An accident that damages the verte...