Haeckaliens and OpenT by Gabriel G. Martins


Speakers: Dr Gabriel G. Martins and Dieter Göhlmann

A standing challenge in developmental biology is the study of morphogenetic processes in vivo and in toto, i.e. inside whole embryos. Conventional microscopy relies on thin tissues, typically 1 to a few cell layers, or 3D imaging of larger tissues, often in vivo, using confocal of 2p microscopy.

However, none of the techniques have allowed deep observation in most mid-to-late stage vertebrate embryos. Two recent techniques have come to aid in imaging both fixed and live thick specimens: optical tomography (aka OPT) and light-sheet microscopy (Sharpe J et al. 2002. Science 296, 541–545; Huisken J et al 2004. Science 305: 1007-1009).

However, commercial solutions are either scarce or non-existent (for OPT), and few prototypical systems are available. Dr Gabriel G. Martins, Advanced Imaging Unit Facility Head, Oeiras, Lisbon, will present a fully open-source, low-cost solution for optical tomography, called OPenT, and show 3D anatomical datasets obtained with large embryos.

The implementation of the system requires only some basic knowledge of optics and electronics using the OpenSPIN microscopy platform (Gualda E et al 2013; Nature Methods 10: 509-510). He will also present an online anatomical database resource for developmental biologists, being prepared with open-source solutions, known currently as “Haeckaliens”.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Optical Projection Tomography (OPenT) as a non-distructive 3D technique enabling imaging of small species with precise anatomical details.
  • Imaris Software as a powerful visualisation and analytical tool for OPenT images.
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