A Clearer View on How Stroke Affects Blood Vessels with See-through Brains!

Khryss | Published 2017-10-02 13:57

When stroke occurs, the blood supply to your brain is reduced or hindered. This deprives your brain of oxygen and nutrients which can cause your brain cells to die. A stroke may either be caused by blocking the artery (which is called an ischemic stroke), or a blood vessel leaking or bursting (called a hemorrhagic stroke).

Studies on stroke have been limited to 2D figures like CT scans, MRI scans and under a microscope (where you stare at a sliced brain). But now, researchers have found a way in making the mouse’s blood vessels clear without the need to slice the brain up.

In the video below, we can see the blood vessels and the brain cells in a mouse’s brain in full 3D. This is developed by Matthias Gunzer and Dirk Hermann from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany and their colleagues.

The researchers first injected a luminous gel into the mice’s hearts and waited for the gel to spread throughout their bodies. They then removed the brains and dipped them in some chemicals. What is left then is a “brain that is clear like glass,” says Hermann. Each brain were then examined under a microscope with the laser lighting the luminous gel.

Those mice that had experienced a stroke showed the brain's 3D look on how this condition blocks blood vessels and cuts off blood supply to some parts of the brain. "You could see which capillaries had died and how the surviving ones were reorganising themselves,” says Gunzer.

Study's results can have different applications for biology and medicine. It could aid in distinguishing deformed brains and can even show how the blood vessels in the brain circulate blood through them.


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