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Credit Kieran Short & Bob Kao / Monash University
, Wellcome Images
3D model of the developing mouse kidney
Three-dimensional image showing the fetal mouse kidney at embryonic day 16 (E16). The green and red staining highlights two different proteins. The protein in green highlights mesenchymal connective tissue tissue that will ultimately differentiate and form the body of the kidney. The protein in red marks the complex network of the developing collecting duct system, including the renal pelvis; the large funnel-shaped region of the kidney into which excreted urine collects to be funnelled into the ureter.
This image was created using or optical projection tomography (OPT), which allows scientists to image whole structures in three dimensions. Similar to normal microscopy, it uses visible light that passes through the sample and a detector on the other side records the amount of light that penetrates. However, unlike standard techniques, the sample is imaged whole - not sliced first. It is rotated 360 degrees and images are captured at different angles as it revolves. Computer software combines these images to create a 3D image that allows scientists to investigate how associated structures develop relative to each other.
2011 Wellcome Image Award Winner
Optical projection tomography
Collection: Wellcome Images
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 2.0 UK: England
& Wales, see http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/page/Prices.html