Germany: Imaging Technology Miltenyi Biotec Acquires Imaging Process from University of Duisburg-Essen
Miltenyi Biotec has signed a purchase contract for a non-harmful, fluorescence-preserving, optical clearing process from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. The acquired invention involves an easy-to-use protocol that allows a safe optical clearing of biological samples for microscopy using an organic solvent-based clearing agent, the company announced.
Bergisch-Gladbach – The newly acquired process is the first method for preparing large biological samples for three-dimensional imaging that completely avoids the use of any harmful agents while maintaining fluorescent staining for high-quality imaging, the company stated. With the support of Provendis the university has already registered the new process for international patent approval.
Accordinig to the company, the new clearing agent unites the speed of an organic solvent with the harmlessness of water-based clarifiers. Tests had shown that the clearing process, including dehydration, of a mouse brain only takes two days with the new protocol compared to 10-14 days when using water-based protocols. Unlike agents based on organic solvents, there would be no danger from inhaling dangerous fumes or any adverse effects of accidental skin contact, they stated. It was less aggressive and therefore easier to handle in the laboratory and under the microscope than the commonly used organic solvent-based clarifiers. It even naturally occurred in pineapples and is approved as an additive for winemaking.
One of the key challenges when optically clearing entire organs is the preservation of fluorescence staining that has been performed beforehand. When benchmarking the new clearing medium with others it showed excellent fluorescent signal preservation and only a minor impact on the tissue structure thus offering best prerequisites for microscopic analysis of biological samples, the supplier announced.
The company will initially offer the new clearing agent for neurobiology and cancer research applications as it can play a key role in the study of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease by helping to visualize and quantify plaque formation in mouse brains. Going forward, the company plans to manufacture, and market further products based on the newly acquired clearing protocol.