The instrument integrates a 2-photon microscope with a vibratome to allow 3D fluorescence imaging of whole tissue blocks at microscopic resolution. This system is suitable for mapping of cellular morphology and spatial distribution patterns across whole specimens, such as entire mouse or rat brains, and is particularly well suited for morphological characterization and interventional studies in transgenic models expressing various fluorescent proteins.
Automated 3D visualization of fluorescent signals at microscopic resolution is acquired using a serial 2P tomography (STPT) instrument (TissueCyte 1000), which by alternating 2P microscopic imaging of fixed tissue blocks and vibration microtomy automatically delivers high-resolution volumetric images of fluorescent signals from entire tissue blocks. STPT is highly suitable for 3D mapping of axonal connections, as well as volumetric mapping of cellular and architectonic features relevant for detailed digital atlases, and is the instrument of choice for the large-scale brain mapping pipeline of the Allen Institute of Brain Science. The STPT technique is based on block-face imaging of physical tissue sections. Sections may be collected for subsequent (immuno-)histochemical processing can be applied to visualize specific cellular and architectonic features.