WHOLE ORGAN IMAGING

Introducing the Kratoscope

FAST AND EASY EX VIVO 3D ORGAN IMAGING

Kaer Labs innovate and introduce the Kratoscope: an easy and efficient way to imaging an entire organ ex vivo.

Although there are more and more techniques to get 3D images of organs (eg. micro-CT, light sheet), none is as simple as "Kratoscopy": the technique does not require any labeling or contrast agent, and the acquisition of a paraffin embedded organ is obtained in less than 2 hours.

The technique, developed in collaboration with the microscopy and histology platform MicroPICell from Nantes University / SFR François Bonamy, is based on the principle of serial block face imaging: the imaging system Kratoscope acquires an image of the organ in the block of tissue each time a slice is cut by a microtome, in a fully automated process. By getting a stack of slices at increasing depth, it is then possible to reconstruct a 3D view of the organ. 

The contrast of the images comes from the difference in autofluorescence of different structures of the organ and highlights anatomical its anatomy. It can provide information not visible on micro CT images, when small structures lack radio contrast.

Applications/organs:

The technique has already been applied to a variety of organs, and for different purposes. It has been shown that it is possible on certain organs to isolate the vessels, which appear with a negative contrast, and then to segment them for the characterization and quantification of the vascular tree: this has been done on livers an kidneys, for example. Hearts reveal their inner chambers and the structures of the valves, whereas the Kratoscope is also being used to look at airways of lungs. Brain, kidneys and intestines have also shown to provide good contrast of their inner structures.

The technique can also be used on organs for larger animals (eg. sheep), marine species, as well as for plants for agronomic or botanical studies.

View and measure in 3D

Quantify organ spatial structures

Simplify preparations and 3D acquisitions

Advantages:

- Different source of contrast than microCT: structures may be easier to observe

- Virtually no specific preparation required: the technique is easier than light sheet, which requires an initial step of tissue clearing

- Minimal operator time: the acquisition process is automated

- Improved repeatability with the absence of staining/labeling

- Individual tissue slices can be collected for further processing and imaging

  • View and measure in 3D

  • Quantify organ spatial structures

  • Simplify preparations and 3D acquisitions

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Ewe cervix

Image stack of a cervix from ewe. Slice thickness: 10µm Courtesy of Xavier Druart, INRAE Centre Val de Loire, Nouzilly, France.

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Medaka ovary

Image stack of histology slices of a medaka ovary. Slice thickness: 10µm Courtesy Violette Thermes, LGPG, INRAE Rennes, France

Mouse lung

Stack of 100 images from a mouse lung, showing lung airways. Slice thickness: 10 µm. Field of view 15 x 15 mm2, zoom position Z1. Courtesy of Birger Tielemans, Greetje Vande Velde, KU Leuven, Department of imaging and pathology, Biomedical MRI unit / MoSAIC, Leuven, Belgium.

Kratoscopy as a service

In collaboration with the microscopy and histology platform MicroPICell from Nantes University / SFR François Bonamy, Kaer Labs can propose the technique as a service. It is as simple as shipping us your organs embedded in paraffin. Contact us for more information on prices and processes.