Image formation for research purposes

The liver is a multi-functional organ orchestrating major physiological processes. VLN researchers investigate physiology and pathology of the liver by means of various modern methods.

  • Imaging of the liver is one of the leading techniques, which is performed on different devices, on all liver organization scales and for different investigation purposes. Discover the liver web site highlights major achievements of VLN based on imaging: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
  • First, image formation is performed. Depending on an imaged object and a purpose of investigation, different staining approaches and imaging devices are used.
  • Single or population of the liver cells (primary liver cells) or cell lines are utilized to investigate cellular processes specific for different types of isolated liver cells. They are analyzed by means of special staining followed by either light or fluorescent microscopy.
  • In contrast to this, liver tissue sections are used to investigate cellular processes in the natural cell environment with the restored liver architecture. These liver sections are either very thin (3-4 um of thickness) and they are monitored with light microscopy and whole slide imaging scanners, or these liver sections are very thick (up to 75 um of thickness) and they are imaged with fluorescent microscopy or fluorescent whole slide imaging scanners.
  • Microscopy gives usually a view of a limited field of the imaged sample, whereas whole slide imaging scanners allow imaging of the whole sample.
  • In addition to single/population of isolated cells and liver sections, imaging of a whole liver organ or even an animal organism is performed. This is usually done with computer-assisted tomography (CT scanning).
  • Depending on investigation settings, different types of image sets are generated. These include single images, time course images (usually done for live cell imaging), serial sections (of whole or part of liver stained either for one or several markers), and cross sections (usually done for thick liver blocks for 3D imaging).
  • After formation, images are processed and analyzed for extraction of various parameters which are then utilized for generation of 3D reconstructions and/or for mathematical models.
  • Within VLN, cell proliferation, lipid droplets accumulation, localization of selected protein markers (endosome, plasma membrane, cell specific), geometric representation of the liver and its blood vessels ect. are inspected. This helps to understand physiology and pathology of liver metabolism, blood flow, plasma membrane organization, distribution of cell specific markers, biogenesis of endosomal system and liver regeneration.
  • Author of text and image: Iryna Ilkavets
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