A scientific research may lead to nothing or a discovery of something new. Fortunately for the researchers of RIKEN Center for Development Biology, a recent discovery is found to have a medical relevance that can provide breakthroughs in medical assessment. The group of Japanese researchers have developed a sugar solution called “SeeDB” that allows a tissue to become transparent in a matter of days without causing damage.
To see what’s within an organ, to know what lies beneath, usually cannot be done without resorting to invasive procedures. Besides the discomfort, anxieties on possible risks also discourage and keep patients from allowing medical professionals to perform a necessary procedure. But with the sugar solution developed by RIKEN’s researchers, led by Dr. Takeshi Imai, the procedure may be possible without the concerned risks. It will also only take three days for a particular tissue to become transparent.
According to Dr. Imai, SeeDB is “inexpensive, quick, easy and safe to use, and requires no special equipment, it will prove useful for a broad range of studies, including the study of neuronal circuits in human samples.” Such features, without causing damage or change in composition, allows a safer view of what is inside an organ. The team led by Dr. Imai used SeeDB on mouse embryos and brains, making them transparent in three days time without causing damage or any change except for its transparency.
The development of the sugar solution can surely lead to a better assessment of complex body organs like the brain. Despite it being safe inside a skull, looking through a brain’s structure and observing its active functions while a human is still alive or conscious always leaves a person apprehensive. Although CT-Scans and MRIs allow some views, it is not unknown that their results are not always satisfying. Only a closer look can one find the elusive answer to some questions.
[via Science Recorder]
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