Data_Sheet_1_Expansion Light Sheet Microscopy Resolves Subcellular Structures in Large Portions of the Songbird Brain.pdf

Expansion microscopy and light sheet imaging (ExLSM) provide a viable alternative to existing tissue clearing and large volume imaging approaches. The analysis of intact volumes of brain tissue presents a distinct challenge in neuroscience. Recent advances in tissue clearing and light sheet microscopy have re-addressed this challenge and blossomed into a plethora of protocols with diverse advantages and disadvantages. While refractive index matching achieves near perfect transparency and allows for imaging at large depths, the resolution of cleared brains is usually limited to the micrometer range. Moreover, the often long and harsh tissue clearing protocols hinder preservation of native fluorescence and antigenicity. Here we image large expanded brain volumes of zebra finch brain tissue in commercially available light sheet microscopes. Our expansion light sheet microscopy (ExLSM) approach presents a viable alternative to many clearing and imaging methods because it improves on tissue processing times, fluorophore compatibility, and image resolution.