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mesoSPIM Version 5

mesoSPIM V5

What is the mesoSPIM project?

The mesoSPIM (mesoscale selective plane illumination microscopy) project aims at creating open-hardware microscopy platforms for imaging in cleared tissue. Core features of the current generation mesoSPIM setups are:

  • compatibilty with all major clearing techniques including CLARITY and iDISCO
  • large field-of-views, ranging from 2 to 20 mm using an Olympus MVX-10 macroscope
  • dual-sided excitation
  • optimized for fast screening of whole mouse brain samples, yielding relatively small datasets (10-14 GB/brain/color)
  • near-isotropic sampling (5-10 µm in X,Y & Z) due to an axially swept lightsheet which leads to uniform z-resolution across the field-of-view
  • modular sample holders and quick sample exchange
  • large travel range (45 x 45 x 100 mm) to allow imaging of very large samples

Inspired by the openSPIM and openSPIN projects, the documentation for building and extending your own mesoSPIM is available here.

The mesoSPIM wiki

The mesoSPIM wiki provides documentation, setup, and usage instructions.

Who is the mesoSPIM project for?

  • You are looking for a versatile imaging platform for cleared tissue that can be tailored to your needs.
  • Research groups and imaging facilities with experience in building and supporting custom microscopes.

What are ideal imaging applications for a mesoSPIM?

  • screening of large numbers of samples for clearing & labeling quality
  • visualization of cell populations or other structures (blood vessels, plaques) in whole cleared organs

What are the mesoSPIM instruments less well suited for?

  • imaging live samples (this is the domain of classical light-sheet microscopes)
  • high-resolution (<1 µm pixelsize) scans with large number of tiles across whole mouse brains (this is better done using light-sheet instruments not based on a zoom macroscopes such as the Zeiss Z.1., the COLM)


Hardware documentation for the mesoSPIM microscope project



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