Reflection Matrix Microscopes: A window into the brain

-By KI News Team | Jan. 12, 2021, 7:37 p.m.

Microscopes are used from ages for observing miniature things, be it bacteria, virus, or human cells. These microscopes have revolutionized enormously since their discovery. But the most recent and astonishing upgrade of microscopes has transform the world of Microscopy, as these microscopes can see through the skull into the brain of a living animal. This can be a boon to various fields of Neurological Science and drug development. It can also prove to be an extraordinary tool to study mice without having them killed or harmed.

The traditional microscopes use for the non-invasive were using the coherence or two – photon microscopy to observe miniature human or animal structures without harming the individual. These microscopes generally face difficulty with the imaging as the scattered photons that are generated, cause obscuring of the image and result into an ineffective photographic image. This was caused due to the wide range of tissues and bone structures that interfere with the light that is passed through the structure. The most difficult part with imaging the skull was the speckle noise and image distortion. To overcome these shortcomings, the novel microscope was developed.

The research was done in South Korea by Prof. CHOI Wonshik at the Center for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics within the Institute of Basic Science (IBS) in Seoul. The Novel Microscope developed by them gives an unresolved image of Intact Mouse skull and also can develop an intact map of the neurons.

This microscope is named as Reflection Matrix Microscope, and it uses hardware as well as software that is Computational Adaptive optics to bring about the resolution in the images that is applaudable. It is capable to collect all the scattered light and arrange it into order or sequence using a novel algorithm that is named as Closed-Loop Accumulation of Single Scattering (CLASS). This was the shortcoming of the conventional confocal microscopes as they used to neglect the scattered light and only capture the focused light. The Reflection Matrix microscope is also devoid of any fluorescent light support or structure-based assistance, that is most of the microscope’s bread and butter.

"By correcting the wavefront distortion, we can focus light energy on the desired location inside the living tissue. Our microscope allows us to investigate fine internal structures deep within living tissues that cannot be resolved by any other means. This will greatly aid us in early disease diagnosis and expedite neuroscience research." said the researcher YOON Seokchan and graduate student LEE Hojun, who conducted the study.

Source: NCBI

Many developments are on the way in science and medical field but Reflection Matrix Microscope can be the most admirable one as, it has been capable of changing the whole perspective of how one understands and study’s the brain in future.

Vice director CHOI Wonshik also added that, “Reflection matrix microscope is the next-generation technology that goes beyond the limitations of conventional optical microscopes. This will allow us to widen our understanding of the light propagation through scattering media and expand the scope of applications that an optical microscope can explore."