Serial Two-Photon Tomography

A team of neuroscientists researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA, led by Professor Pavel Osten, has developed a new technique to create images of the entire brain, after having conducted experiments on the brains of mice.


The new technique takes successive images of brain sections precisely, using a laser microscope with two photons. The resulting images are then computer processed, resulting in a three-dimensional image of the entire brain.

Developed in conjunction with the TissueVision company, new brain scanning technique was called Serial Two-Photon Tomography - STP.

Study leader, Professor Pavel Osten argues that this new technology is extremely accurate and is sufficiently developed to be already used in specific procedures.

The researchers tested the process at different resolutions, from 1-2 microns to less than one micron and obtained a complete set of data regarding the studied brain from 6.5-8.5 hours and a standby time considerably reduced compared to other current technologies.

Even if a scan at full resolution using Serial Two-Photon Tomography can take up to 24 hours, using a conventional scanning technologies complete data set can be achieved only in a week.

Professor Osten's team is currently using STP on the brains of mice tomography to identify genes responsible for diseases such as autism or the emergence of schizophrenia.