Neurodegenerative Diseases

Investigate neurodegeneration in 3D

Depositions of aberrant protein aggregates in the brain are recognized hallmarks of major neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. We can process and analyze samples for β-amyloid deposition (e.g. in Alzheimer’s), as well as for the accumulation of α-synuclein in Lewy Bodies (e.g. in Parkinson’s).

Localized damage to diseased brain parenchyma is often accompanied by a neuroinflammatory response, such as activation and recruitment of reactive glia (e.g. astrocytes, microglia). Our technologies can be used to assess these responses through mapping of astrocytes (GFAP+) and microglia (IBA1+).

Pictued above: Astrocytes marked by GFAP (magenta) cluster around β-amyloid plaques (cyan), in brain of 7-month-old homozygous ARTE10 male mouse from Taconic Biosciences, Alzheimer’s disease model #16347.

Astrocytes and β-amyloid plaques in a 5xFAD intact mouse brain model of Alzheimer’s disease, imaged with SmartSPIM light sheet microscope, 3.6X objective

5xFAD mouse brain model of Alzheimer’s disease. Sample courtesy of Drs. David Elliott and Jonathan Epp, University of Calgary.

Full service tissue processing

Upon receiving your samples, LifeCanvas technicians:

  • Use SHIELD to preserve sample integrity and antigenicity
  • Actively clear and immunolabel tissue with specific antibodies (e.g. β-amyloid, α-synuclein, Phospho-tau, GFAP, IBA1, etc) using SmartBatch+
  • Index-match samples with EasyIndex
  • Acquire volumetric light sheet images with SmartSPIM
  • Analyze post-processed images with SmartAnalytics to determine levels of protein aggregation for regionally specific brain areas

From brain samples to publishable data

You send us: PFA-fixed brain samples from your disease model animals

We deliver:

  • Regional cell counts and quantification of protein aggregates registered to the Allen Brain Atlas
  • Heat maps showing localized levels of neuroinflammation and protein deposition
  • Coronal views with Atlas overlays depicting detected cells and aggregates throughout the whole brain volume

Poster created in collaboration with Taconic Biosciences for the Society for Neuroscience’s 2022 conference. Click to download PDF.

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Further reading