Optical projection tomography as a tool for 3D microscopy and gene expression studies

James Sharpe, Ulf Ahlgren, Paul Perry, Bill Hill, Allyson Ross, Jacob Hecksher-Sørensen, Richard Baldock, Duncan Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current techniques for three-dimensional (3D) optical microscopy (deconvolution, confocal microscopy, and optical coherence tomography) generate 3D data by "optically sectioning" the specimen. This places severe constraints on the maximum thickness of a specimen that can be imaged. We have developed a microscopy technique that uses optical projection tomography (OPT) to produce high-resolution 3D images of both fluorescent and nonfluorescent biological specimens with a thickness of up to 15 millimeters. OPT microscopy allows the rapid mapping of the tissue distribution of RNA and protein expression in intact embryos or organ systems and can therefore be instrumental in studies of developmental biology or gene function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-5
Number of pages5
Issue number5567
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2002


  • Anatomy, Cross-Sectional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Software
  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta
  • Gene Expression
  • Nervous System
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Microscopy
  • Tomography
  • Mutation
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Stomach
  • Neurofilament Proteins


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