Scientific reports

A novel imaging method for correlating 2D light microscopic data and 3D volume data based on block-face imaging.

PMID 28623366


We have developed an imaging method designated as correlative light microscopy and block-face imaging (CoMBI), which contributes to improve the reliability of morphological analyses. This method can collect both the frozen sections and serial block-face images in a single specimen. The frozen section can be used for conventional light microscopic analysis to obtain 2-dimensional (2D) anatomical and molecular information, while serial block-face images can be used as 3-dimensional (3D) volume data for anatomical analysis. Thus, the sections maintain positional information in the specimen, and allows the correlation of 2D microscopic data and 3D volume data in a single specimen. The subjects can vary in size and type, and can cover most specimens encountered in biology. In addition, the required system for our method is characterized by cost-effectiveness. Here, we demonstrated the utility of CoMBI using specimens ranging in size from several millimeters to several centimeters, i.e., mouse embryos, human brainstem samples, and stag beetle larvae, and present successful correlation between the 2D light microscopic images and 3D volume data in a single specimen.