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A novel optical microscope for imaging large embryos and tissue volumes with sub-cellular resolution throughout

McConnell, Gail and Trägårdh, Johanna and Amor, Rumelo and Dempster, John and Reid, Es and Amos, William Bradshaw (2016) A novel optical microscope for imaging large embryos and tissue volumes with sub-cellular resolution throughout. eLife. ISSN 2050-084X (In Press)

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Current optical microscope objectives of low magnification have low numerical aperture and therefore have too little depth resolution and discrimination to perform well in confocal and nonlinear microscopy. This is a serious limitation in important areas, including the phenotypic screening of human genes in transgenic mice by study of embryos undergoing advanced organogenesis. We have built an optical lens system for 3D imaging of objects up to 6 mm wide and 3 mm thick with depth resolution of only a few microns instead of the tens of microns currently attained, allowing sub-cellular detail to be resolved throughout the volume. We present this lens, called the Mesolens, with performance data and images from biological specimens including confocal images of whole fixed and intact fluorescently-stained 12.5-day old mouse embryos.