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Imaging neuronal development with magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) microscopy

Jacobs, Russell E. and Fraser, Scott E. (1994) Imaging neuronal development with magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) microscopy. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 54 (2). pp. 189-196. ISSN 0165-0270.

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An ideal technique for following the development of the vertebrate nervous system would allow cells to be followed at the resolution of light microscopy at depths of several millimeters into the tissue. This would permit critical events to be followed at cellular or sub-cellular resolution even deep within the developing organism. To date, no technique has emerged with all of the needed properties. Light microscopy can follow a cell and its descendants after they have been labeled by either the infection of embryonic cells with a recombinant retrovirus or the microinjection of individual precursor cells with enzymes or fluorescent dyes. However, light microscopy cannot image events deeper than a few hundred micrometers within an embryo due to light scattering and aberrations in the objective lenses and other optics. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) does not suffer from these limitations, routinely being used to image in 3 dimensions through specimens as large as adult humans. However, it is relatively slow and, as implemented to date, it cannot routinely achieve cellular resolution. Here, we present our attempts to meet the technical challenges posed by in vivo MRI microscopy. As an example of both the progress and the future challenges, we present images of cells within the developing frog embryo over a several day time course.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Jacobs, Russell E.0000-0002-1382-8486
Fraser, Scott E.0000-0002-5377-0223
Additional Information:© 1994 Elsevier Science B.V. Accepted 28 June 1994. We thank Z.H. Cho, C.B. Ahn and S. Juh for their assistance and encouragement in the initial phases of this project, and the members of the Biological Imaging Center at Caltech for their hard work in refining our recent experimental approaches. Supported by NIH Grant HD 25390 and a gift from Monsanto-Searle.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHHD 25390
Monsanto-Searle CompanyUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Magnetic resonance imaging; Cell lineage; 3D visualization; Lineage tracer
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160309-105426736
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Official Citation:Russell E. Jacobs, Scott E. Fraser, Imaging neuronal development with magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) microscopy, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Volume 54, Issue 2, October 1994, Pages 189-196, ISSN 0165-0270, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65240
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:09 Mar 2016 19:19
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:45

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