In vivo tissue transparency in the visible light spectrum is beneficial for many research applications that use optical methods, whether it involves in vivo optical imaging of cells or their activity, or optical intervention to affect cells or their activity deep inside tissues, such as brain tissue. The classical view is that a tissue is transparent if it neither absorbs nor scatters light, and thus absorption and scattering are the key elements to be controlled to reach the necessary transparency. This review focuses on the latest genetic and chemical approaches for the decoloration of tissue pigments to reduce visible light absorption and the methods to reduce scattering in live tissues. We also discuss the possible molecules involved in transparency.
Keywords: deep-tissue optogenetics; genetically modified animals; imaging depth; in vivo transparency; model organisms with transparent tissues; optical tissue clearing.