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X-ray imaging;Microtomography;Nanotomography;Neural network;Brain imaging;Connectome
A synchrotron X-ray imaging strategy to map large animal brains
An-Lun China, Shun-Min Yangb, Hsiang-Hsin Chenb, Min-Tsang Lib, Tsung-Tse Leeb, Ying-Jie Chenb, Ting-Kuo Leeb, Cyril Petiboisb, Xiaoqing Caib, Chian-Ming Lowd, Francis Chee Kuan Tane, Alvin Teof, Eng Soon Tokg, Edwin B.L. Ongg, Yen-Yin Lina, I-Jin Lina, Yi-Chi Tsenga, Nan-Yow Chenh, Chi-Tin Shihi, Jae-Hong Limj, Jun Limj, Jung-Ho Jek, Yoshiki Kohmural, Tetsuya Ishikawal, Giorgio Margaritondom⁎, Ann-Shyn Chianga⁎, Yeukuang Hwu
Mapping the large neural networks of animal and human brains is a fundamental but so far elusive task, because of the massive amount of data and the consequent prohibitively long image taking and processing times. We developed an effective strategy called “AXON” (Accelerated X-ray Observation of Neurons) to solve this problem. AXON can achieve comprehensive whole-brain mapping within a reasonable time by combining fast image taking and processing, plus two other critical performances: three-dimensional (3D) imaging with high and isotropic spatial resolution, and multi-scale resolution. We successfully tested this strategy with coordinated experiments at four synchrotron facilities in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Korea on two animal models, Drosophila and mouse. Its performances notably allowed full 3D mapping of the Drosophila brain in a few days. With reasonable improvements, AXON can deliver full mapping of large animal and human brains on a realistic time scale of a few years.