Clearing Procedures for Deep Tissue Imaging
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Why clearing? Curiosity is human nature. And nothing attracts as much curiosity as the inside of living organisms. While in ancient times those who cut human bodies open to do research were put to death, and modern anatomy started only after Pope Clement VII allowed dissection , we can now watch brains working in living animals  - and have a good chance of soon being able to interfere with the observed activities for healing (or control) purposes.
The medieval ban on opening the human body was - at least in fiction - bypassed by the very special ability for Superman: x-ray vision. Alltough there has been some scientific discussion on that subject , it is clear that there is no way of looking through opaque material by visible light. Observation of tissue in living materials, e.g. through cranial windows to the brain, does not allow us to look too deep inside, as scattering and absorption still occur in the brain tissue. As an option for fixed materials, various protocols for "clearing" have been proposed during the history of microscopy. These protocols aim to both reduce scattering and to remove absorbing substances.
Dr. Andrea C. Mülter, Product Manager
Dr. Rolf T. Borlinghaus, Scientific Advisor
Leica Microsystems CMS GmbH