Search
Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

U.S: Advanced Imaging Captures Mired Neuron Migration

Image credits: news.mit.edu

Scientists at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used an innovative microscopy method to observe how new-born neurons struggle to reach their proper locations in advanced human brain tissue models of Rett syndrome -bringing new understanding to how the brains of people with the potentially destructive illness have been found to have growing impairments.

Mutations in the gene MECP2 cause Rett syndrome, which is characterised by symptoms such as severe intellectual disability and impaired social behaviour.

Researchers grew 3D cell cultures called cerebral organoids, or mini-brains, using cells from people with MECP2 mutations and compared them to otherwise-identical cultures without the mutations to gain new insight into how the mutation affects the brain develops early on.

The development of each type of mini-brain was subsequently examined by the researchers, under the direction of postdoctoral fellow Murat Yildirim, using third harmonic generation (THG) three-photon microscopy. THG enables very high-resolution imaging deep into living, intact tissues without the use of chemicals to label cells.

The new study is the first to photograph organoids using THG, essentially leaving them undisturbed. Prior organoid imaging investigations necessitated the use of imaging technology incapable of penetrating the 3D tissue or techniques that necessitated killing the cultures by either slicing them into thin sections or chemically cleaning and labelling them.

Since a laser is used in three-photon microscopy, the lab’s microscope was specifically designed to only use as much power as a cat toy laser pointer on the tissue (less than 5 milliwatts).

The reason why researchers are so cautious regarding power and chemical labelling is so they can ensure they are not negatively altering or impacting the neuronal physiology and preserve everything intact without introducing anything external that may be harmful.

They managed to get enough signal, even at low power, to image fixed and living organoids without labels. They compared their THG images to those created using more conventional chemical labelling techniques to verify that.

They were able to follow the migration of developing neurons as they moved from the inner edge, which is like the cortex of the brain, to the rim around ventricles in the mini-brains.

They observed that the nascent neurons in the mini-brains simulating Rett syndrome migrated more slowly and in meandering patterns than did the same cell types in mini-brains without the MECP2 mutation, which moved faster and in straighter lines.

The effects of these migration abnormalities are in line with what scientists believed to be happening in foetuses with Rett syndrome.

Researchers knew from post-mortem brains and brain imaging techniques that something goes awry during brain development in Rett syndrome, but it has been extraordinarily difficult to determine what and why; therefore, the technique has enabled them to directly visualise a critical component.

Due to its sensitivity to changes in the refractive index of materials, THG can scan tissues without labelling. Consequently, it dissolves the borders between biological structures such as blood vessels, cell membranes, and extracellular spaces.

The researchers were also able to distinguish clearly between the ventricular zone (the region around the ventricles where the new-born neurons arise) and the cortical plate because neural forms change as they develop (an area that mature neurons settle into). Additionally, it was quite simple to separate multiple ventricles into separate regions and resolve them.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com