Tissue clearing (TC) methods render entire organs transparent and have revolutionized the anatomical and transcriptional investigation of biological tissue. In comparison to sectioning techniques, it has the benefit of leaving complex pathways spatially intact and retaining rare features that are distributed widely across normal and diseased tissue. While TC affords novel prospects, there are several technological bottlenecks that hinder its potential use in a broader range of applications. For example, prolonged acquisition time required to image large volumes of cleared tissue, or data analysis of large data-sets.
Resolving the aforementioned technical issues will afford the investigation of several biological questions which cannot be presently addressed, such as exploration of rare microenvironments, (e.g., stem-cell niches) within the context of age-associated diseases and drug perturbation, the acquisition of high-resolution bio-distribution maps of novel drugs, tracing regeneration of nerve/axons during embryonic development, exploring the brain-gut axis, and more. See example projects below: