Scientists have demonstrated microscopic, real-time imaging of the deepest regions of the brain in a freely moving mouse, using it to analyze the expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP), the protein at the basis of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
"This advance should have profound impact on the field of neurological research,” said Uwe Maskos, D.Phil., a lab chief at the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France). "Never before have we been able to see the deep reaches of the brain at the cellular level while an animal is moving freely. Gaining understanding of neurological activity throughout the brain is vital to understanding normal brain function and the kinds of alterations that lead to neurological disorders. We now have visual, microscopic access to the living, working brain that we've never had before. We can now bridge the gap between processes at the cellular, organ, and animal level.”
Dr. Maskos and his team, headed by Arnaud Cressant, collaborated with Mauna Kea Technologies (Paris, France), a medical device company, to create a portable, easy-to-use prototype cannula system to guide a tiny fiberoptic camera, Mauna Kea's Cellvizio probe-based confocal laser endomicroscope, into the mouse's brain and hold it into place and provide balance. The Cellvizio probe allows physicians to view live tissue inside the body at the cellular level in real time. Dr. Maskos presented his findings at the Society for Neuroscience 38th annual 2008 meeting in Washington DC, USA, in November 2008.
"We congratulate the Institut Pasteur team on this significant advance, which we believe could alter the research paradigm for understanding and exploring the brain and all the body's functions linked to neurological activity,” noted Sacha Loiseau, president, CEO and founder of Mauna Kea Technologies. "Cellvizio has already changed how many gastroenterologists diagnose and treat GI [gastrointestinal] disease. We're extremely excited to see Cellvizio's continuing impact on other areas of medicine and science.”
Cellvizio uses in vivo cellular imaging, a new endoscopic imaging approach that is improving both diagnostic rates, as well as the time needed to diagnose the condition. Cellvizio is the first and only confocal microscopy system that is compatible with most endoscopes and allows physicians to view live tissue inside the body at the cellular level in dynamic, real-time images at 12 frames per second. To date, over 2,000 of these procedures have been completed.
Cellvizio, the world's smallest microscope, is the first system designed to provide live images of internal human tissues at the cellular level during endoscopic procedures. This new method, known as probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE), allows physicians to pinpoint and remove diseased tissue with endoscopic tools on the spot, or in more serious cases, send the patient directly to surgery. This new, advanced imaging technique helps physicians more effectively detect cancer so patients can be treated earlier and undergo fewer biopsies. Physicians at more than 40 top medical institutions worldwide have completed over 2,000 of these. Cellvizio, which can be used with almost any endoscope, has 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European CE marking for use in the gastrointestinal and pulmonary tracts.
Mauna Kea Technologies, which operates as Cellvizio in the United States, is a venture-backed medical device company. The Cellvizio system enables physicians to visualize, diagnose, and treat pathologies that cannot be seen using other imaging techniques.
Mauna Kea Technologies teamed up with the Pasteur Institute because of its leading role in mouse genetics and neurology over the last 40 years. Pasteur researchers have been among the very first to create transgenic and knock-in models for neurologic disorders.
Mauna Kea Technologies