IBS Institute for Basic Science

Engineering mechanical properties of the brain for large-scale molecular mapping

Prof. Taeyun Ku, M.D., Ph.D.

October 18(Fri) - October 18(Fri), 2019

16:00 - 17:00

# 86120

Neuro@noon Seminar


Date: 4:00 pm Friday, October 18th

Place: #86120

Speaker: Prof. Taeyun Ku, M.D., Ph.D.

Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, KAIST



Title: "Engineering mechanical properties of the brain for large-scale molecular mapping" 


The complex nature of the brain can be understood properly when their fine structures, brain-wide organizations, and molecular identities are comprehensively observed. Tissue clearing technologies assisted by ultrafast microscopy have realized high-resolution imaging of intact brain tissues at a large scale. However, the capabilities of these techniques are still limited to small samples from mice, particularly when macromolecular probes such as antibodies are used to label deep structures. This is because biological tissues are innately not ideal for delivering large molecules and unstable after modification to become transparent. In this talk, I will introduce a novel tissue-engineering idea of transforming biological tissue into elastic material that is mechanically stable while its porosity is improved. Tissues hybridized with entangled hydrogels became highly stretchable and compressible, virtually indestructible in usual laboratory settings. Such ability of transient shape transformation, which is completely reversible, was further employed to accelerate the delivery of macromolecular probes, by mechanically thinning thick samples. This simple approach reduced the time required for antibody-labeling of intact brain specimens by up to a hundred times. The concordantly enhanced mechanical stability and labeling speed lowers the barrier to investigating large intact samples, such as human tissue specimens, at a molecular level. This tissue-engineering technology is anticipated to help uncover the high-level organizations and functions of the brain.

Host: Prof. Myunghwan Choi