Hiroyuki HIOKI

Graduate School of Medicine Kyoto University

Development of basic technology for macro-to-micro zoom-in through combination of multi-hierarchical structure analysis

To clarify neural circuit structure, the complex hierarchical system should be analyzed from the synapse level to the whole-brain level. This analysis process has become a serious rate-limiting step
because of the tremendous time and effort required. This project will pursue the following two goals with “Sca/eS,” a new optical clearing method, at the core:

(i) To establish a basic technique to seamlessly analyze “macro-mezzo-micro” at each hierarchical level.

(ii) To establish a flexible “zoom in” technique that bridges the two observation methods―extending beyond the scope of light microscopy with the development of electron microscopy imaging aimed at
ultrastructure analysis.

In addition to resolving the quantitative issue, i.e., time required for the analysis process, this project is expected to create next-generation morphological analysis techniques by promoting qualitative
changes, i.e., to observe what we could not observe in the past.