Visikol began as a products-oriented company with the development of the Visikol® tissue clearing reagents back in 2012. Since then, Visikol has expanded its portfolio of tissue clearing reagents and kits so that researchers can apply the approach to 3D cell culture models (Visikol® HISTO-M™), whole tissues (Visikol® HISTO™), and plants (Visikol® for Plant Biology™). Additionally, Visikol launched several additional products to support the use of these reagents such as tissue slicers and ClearWells™.
Illustration of Coronal and Sagittal planes
The Visikol 3D printed tissue slicers allow researchers to easily cut tissues such as a brain into smaller slices (1-2mm) for easier imaging with objectives that have a limited working distance. Additionally, air objectives due to mismatches in refractive index are fundamentally limited to an imaging depth of about 1,000 microns. Many researchers tend to think that tissue clearing needs to be applied to whole tissues using light sheet microscopes. However, cutting tissues into thinner slices dramatically reduces the time required for labeling and also makes imaging far easier. The most popular tissue slicers that Visikol sells are the 1 mm Coronal Mouse Brain Slicer and 1 mm Sagittal Mouse Brain Slicer. The difference between these two brain slicers is the plane for cutting which determines which afferent and/or efferent connections are preserved.
Neural pathways communicate information from one part of the brain to another – comprising connections between neurons. Cutting through the sagittal plane let’s users preserve the four lobes – frontal, parietal, occipital & temporal. The coronal sections of the brain lets users preserve some of the most notable structures of the brain – the corpus callosum, the lobes, the lateral and the third ventricles, the basal ganglia and the white matter structures.
One neural pathway is the corpus callosum, whose function is to communicate information between two cerebral hemispheres. Viewing the corpus callosum in the sagittal plane allows the user to view its entire length, which represents the gold standard for diagnosing abnormalities of this structure. Another neural pathway is the pyramidal tracts which are responsible for the body’s motor function. Viewing the pyramidal tracts in the coronal plane allows one to view the full tract length.
If you are interested in starting to use tissue clearing in your research, the Visikol tissue slicers are a valuable tool as they are inexpensive compared to metal brain slicers, and allow researchers to generate reproducible tissue slices for imaging.