Histology in 3-D: New staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples

To date, examining patient tissue samples has meant cutting them into thin slices for histological analysis. This might now be set to change — thanks to a new staining method devised by an interdisciplinary team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). This allows specialists to investigate three-dimensional tissue samples using the Nano-CT system also recently developed at TUM.

Tissue sectioning is a routine procedure in hospitals, for instance to investigate tumors. As the name implies, it entails cutting samples of body tissue into thin slices, then staining them and examining them under a microscope. Medical professionals have long dreamt of the possibility of examining the entire, three-dimensional tissue sample and not just the individual slices. The most obvious way forward here lies in computed tomography (CT) scanning — also a standard method used in everyday clinical workflows.

Previous limitations in resolution and contrast

Thus far, there have been two major hurdles to the realization of this goal. Firstly, the resolution of conventional CT scanners is too low. Today’s Micro- and Nano-CT systems are rarely suitable for use in frontline medicine. Some do not offer sufficiently high resolution, while others rely on radiation from large particle accelerators.

Secondly, soft tissue is notoriously difficult to examine using CT equipment. Samples have to be stained to render them visible in the first place. Stains for CT scanning are sometimes highly toxic, and they are also extremely time-consuming to apply. At times they modify the tissue to such an extent that further analysis is then impossible.

Successful collaboration between physics, chemistry and medicine

Read more  – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180222103603.htm

Dr Nancy Miller

Dr Nancy Miller has over 20 years experience as a educator and health practitioner. She has a B.S. from Lake Head University In Thunder Bay, and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Guelph . Dr. Miller has worked as a special medical consultant for a major insurance provider before becoming a freelance health author and public speaker. There are several ways to contact Dr. Miller here.

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