Image: MUSE photograph of a renal artery with internal and external elastic lamina; the microscope uses ultraviolet light to illuminate samples enables pathologists to assess high-resolution images of biopsies and other fresh tissue samples for disease within minutes, without requiring the time-consuming preparation of conventional slides or destroying the tissue (Photo courtesy of MUSE Microscopy).
Histological examination of tissues is central to the diagnosis and management of neoplasms and many other diseases and is a foundational technique for preclinical and basic studies.
Commonly used bright-field microscopy requires prior preparation of micrometer-thick tissue sections mounted on glass slide which is a process that can require hours or days, contributes to cost and delays access to critical information.
Laboratory scientists at University of California Davis Medical Center (Sacramento, CA, USA) have developed a simple, non-destructive slide-free technique that, within minutes, provides high-resolution diagnostic histological images resembling those obtained from conventional hematoxylin and eosin histology. The approach, which they named microscopy with ultraviolet surface excitation (MUSE), can also generate shape and color-contrast information. MUSE relies on ~280 nm ultraviolet light to restrict the excitation of conventional fluorescent stains to tissue surfaces and it has no significant effects on downstream molecular assays (including fluorescence in situ hybridization and RNA sequencing).
Samples that have been stained with eosin or other standard dyes to highlight important features such as nuclei, cytoplasm and extracellular components produce signals from the UV excitation that are bright enough to be detected by conventional color cameras using sub-second exposure times. The process allows for rapid imaging of large areas and immediate interpretation. MUSE's ability to quickly gather high-resolution images without consuming the tissue is an especially important feature. The technology is being commercialized by MUSE Microscopy Inc (Davis, CA, USA).
Richard Levenson, MD, FCAP, professor and vice chair for strategic technologies in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UC Davis and senior author of the study, said, “MUSE eliminates any need for conventional tissue processing with formalin fixation, paraffin embedding or thin-sectioning. It doesn't require lasers, confocal, multiphoton or optical coherence tomography instrumentation, and the simple technology makes it well suited for deployment wherever biopsies are obtained and evaluated.” The study was published on December 4, 2017, in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.
University of California Davis Medical Center