Researchers have demonstrated that X-Ray Holographic Nano-Tomography (XNH) could help accelerate efforts to map neural circuits and ultimately the brain itself. The team describes how XNH can be used to image relatively large volumes of mouse brain and fruit fly nervous tissue at high resolutions.
Combined with artificial intelligence-driven image analysis, they reconstructed dense neural circuits in 3-D, comprehensively cataloging neurons and even tracing individual neurons from muscles to the central nervous system in fruit flies.
This is going to open new avenues for understanding the brain, both in how it’s organized and the circuitry that underlies its function. This type of knowledge can give us foundational insights into neurological disorders, diseases that affect the structure of the brain, and much more. For biological questions like neural circuit discovery, X-ray microscopy holds several advantages over current approaches based on electron microscopy (EM). X-Ray Holographic Nano-Tomography can bring a lot of value to neuroscience because we can now access much larger volumes in shorter times. This is the beginning of a new approach for efforts to map neural circuits.