We present volumetric imaging and computational techniques to quantify neuronal and myelin architecture with intrinsic scattering contrast. Using spectral / Fourier domain Optical Coherence Microscopy (OCM) and software focus-tracking we validate imaging of neuronal cytoarchitecture and demonstrate quantification in the rodent cortex in vivo. Additionally, by ex vivo imaging in conjunction with optical clearing techniques, we demonstrate that intrinsic scattering contrast is preserved in the brain, even after sacrifice and fixation. We volumetrically image cytoarchitecture and myeloarchitecture ex vivo across the entire depth of the rodent cortex. Cellular-level imaging up to the working distance of our objective (~3 mm) is demonstrated ex vivo. Architectonic features show the expected laminar characteristics; moreover, changes in contrast after the application of acetic acid suggest that entire neuronal cell bodies are responsible for the "negative contrast" present in the images. Clearing and imaging techniques that preserve tissue architectural integrity have the potential to enable noninvasive studies of the brain during development, disease, and remodeling, even in samples where exogenous labeling is impractical.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics