Neurodegenerative Diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases 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. LifeCanvas offers researchers the opportunity to process and analyze samples for β-amyloid deposition (e.g. in Alzheimer’s) and 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+) in animal disease models.

Header: β-amyloid plaques in magenta, astrocytes (GFAP) in cyan, in brain of 7-month-old homozygous ARTE10 male mouse from Taconic Biosciences, Alzheimer’s disease model #16347.
5xFAD mouse brain model of Alzheimer’s disease. 100 µm MIP in xy-plane (left) and resliced 100 µm MIP in the xz-plane (right) from same stack. 15X objective with 0.41 x 0.41 x 1 µm voxel size. Sample courtesy of Epp Lab, University of Calgary.

Full service tissue processing

Upon receiving your samples for brain mapping, LifeCanvas technicians:

  • Prepare samples with SHIELD to preserve sample integrity and antigenicity
  • Actively clear and immunolabel samples 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 of samples 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
Phospho-tau labeling in human brain cortex. Sample courtesy of Kymry Jones at the Miller Lab at USC.