Application: Fluorescence-Aided Dissection

Researchers are using NIGHTSEA equipment to aid for fluorescence-aided dissection of subjects over a wide range of size scales. In one case they needed to punch tissue from the nucleus accumbens of a mouse for subsequent biochemical analysis. They used the BlueStar flashlight and barrier filter glasses to see the fluorescence in real time, making it easy to target the right structure. (Reference – Xuan Li and Marina E. Wolf, 2011. Visualization of virus-infected brain regions using a GFP-illuminating flashlight enables accurate and rapid dissection for biochemical analysis. J. of Neuroscience Methods, Vol. 201, Issue 1, pp. 177-179. LINK)

EGFP-tagged viral vector injected into mouse brain

Region of mouse brain into which EGFP-tagged lentovirus vector has been injected. (c) Marina Wolf, Rosalind Franklin University.

In another case the researchers needed to extract only the GFP-tagged dorsal striatum from within mouse brains. They likened this to ‘isolating a lump of oatmeal from within a larger lump of oatmeal’. When they switched from doing the dissection in white light to using the NIGHTSEA flashlight and glasses they could easily see which portion of the brain to target. It made the dissection both faster and more accurate.

GFP-labeled dorsal striatum in mouse brain. (c) Charles Mazel. Sample photographed at laboratory of Stefano Vicini, Georgetown University.

GFP-labeled dorsal striatum in mouse brain. (c) Charles Mazel. Sample photographed at laboratory of Stefano Vicini, Georgetown University.

Dr. Xin Lu, a researcher at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, contributed some nice images of his work with GFP-tagged tumors in a universally red-fluorescent (RFP) mouse. Dr. Lu purchased the NIGHTSEA Stereo Microscope Fluorescence Adapter to add to his Nikon SMZ745 stereo microscope so that the tumor would really stand out, making it easier to dissect. The photos below show the image (1) in white light, (2) using the Royal Blue excitation/emission set to capture the green fluorescence, (3) using the Green excitation/emission set to capture the red fluorescence, and finally (4) a color composite of the green and red channel images.

(Click image for larger view)