Tissue, organ and organoid cultures provide suitable models for developmental studies, but our understanding of how the organs are assembled at the single-cell level still remains unclear. We describe here a novel fixed z-direction (FiZD) culture setup that permits high-resolution confocal imaging of organoids and embryonic tissues. In a FiZD culture a permeable membrane compresses the tissues onto a glass coverslip and the spacers adjust the thickness, enabling the tissue to grow for up to 12 days. Thus, the kidney rudiment and the organoids can adjust to the limited z-directional space and yet advance the process of kidney morphogenesis, enabling long-term time-lapse and high-resolution confocal imaging. As the data quality achieved was sufficient for computer-assisted cell segmentation and analysis, the method can be used for studying morphogenesis ex vivo at the level of the single constituent cells of a complex mammalian organogenesis model system.
Keywords: Kidney; Organ culture; Organoid, Imaging; Time-lapse.
© 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.