Large-scale 3-dimensional quantitative imaging of tissues: state-of-the-art and translational implications

Transl Res. 2017 Nov;189:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2017.07.006. Epub 2017 Jul 22.


Recent developments in automated optical sectioning microscope systems have enabled researchers to conduct high resolution, three-dimensional (3D) microscopy at the scale of millimeters in various types of tissues. This powerful technology allows the exploration of tissues at an unprecedented level of detail, while preserving the spatial context. By doing so, such technology will also enable researchers to explore cellular and molecular signatures within tissue and correlate with disease course. This will allow an improved understanding of pathophysiology and facilitate a precision medicine approach to assess the response to treatment. The ability to perform large-scale imaging in 3D cannot be realized without the widespread availability of accessible quantitative analysis. In this review, we will outline recent advances in large-scale 3D imaging and discuss the available methodologies to perform meaningful analysis and potential applications in translational research.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Organ Specificity*
  • Translational Medical Research*