For the result, the researchers use a detergent that makes human organs transparent
A group of researchers from Germany managed, for the first time, to make human organs transparent. The technique allows, for example, to analyze various systems of the human body without the need to cut tissues.
The study had already been carried out on animals. However, the method was not feasible in humans because our bodies are rigid due to the accumulation of insoluble molecules. In addition, human organs contain collagen in tissues, the amount of which increases over the years.
"We had to completely change our approach and start from scratch to find new chemicals that can make human organs transparent."
said Shan Zhao, Ph.D. student of Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen and the study's first author.
How human organs become transparent
The researchers explain that, after exhaustive tests, they were able to develop a detergent, called CHAPS, different from that used in mice and capable of making the organs transparent. This new detergent is applied through small holes in the fabric, in which the liquid penetrates the organs such as heart, kidneys, pancreas and even eyes, making them transparent.
Of course, the visualization of these organs can still be impaired. With that in mind, they created the Ultramicroscope Blaze. It is a laser scanning microscope that allows you to see the organ in full. That done, the students also developed deep learning algorithms (deep learning, in English) so that they could check several cells in 3D.
The innovation received the name of Shanel (Small-micelle-mediated Human orgAN Efficient clearing and Labeling) or Cleaning and efficient labeling of human organs mediated by small micelles, in Portuguese.
?Shanel could become an essential technology for mapping intact human organs in the near future. This would dramatically accelerate our understanding of organs such as the brain, their development and function in health and diseases ?.
Dr. Ali Ertrk, director of the Institute of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen
With the result satisfactory, Dr. Ali Ertrk and his team hope that, in the future, the technology will serve to print organs in 3D to be transplanted.
Patient waiting times and transplant costs are a real burden. The detailed knowledge about the cellular structure of human organs brings us an important step towards the creation of functional organs artificially on demand.
finished Dr. Ali Ertrk
Sources: Futurism; Phys.