Celebrating 50 Years of the Computer Microscope (1963-2013) – Part I: The First Semi-Automatic System for Neuroanatomical Analysis

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Original figures published with permission from Dr. Ed Glaser

In 1963, Dr. Ed Glaser (co-founder of MBF Bioscience) and Dr. Hendrik van der Loos were at the John Hopkins Medical School putting the final touches on the first computer microscope, an analog computer connected to a light microscope. It was described as a system for attaching X-Y-Z transducers to a microscope stage, tracing the branches of a Golgi-stained neuron and outputting the result to a plotter (learn more about the origins of Neurolucida). The microscope stage was equipped with high-linearity linear motion transducers yielding output voltages proportional to the position of the microscope stage in all three dimensions. The computation of distances was performed by using a chord approximation to the curvilinear dendrites whose lengths were to be determined. Continue reading “Celebrating 50 Years of the Computer Microscope (1963-2013) — Part I: The First Semi-Automatic System for Neuroanatomical Analysis” »

MBF System for Analyzing Whole Sections of Human Brain Tissue Installed for a Neuropsychiatry Research Program in Texas


Samantha Sachsenmayer, Research Assistant & Dr. Jeff Browning, Scientist, were trained by Dr. Dan Peruzzi during the installation.

An MBF Bioscience system for analyzing human brain tissue was recently installed at Texas A&M University System Health Sciences Center College of Medicine (TAMUSCOM). Dr. Dan Peruzzi, Staff Scientist, integrated Stereo Investigator with a Zeiss Vario microscope, camera, and a custom-made Ludl motorized stage that can hold up to 8″x 8″ slides – large enough for whole human brain sections – for Dr. Keith Young’s lab. In addition to the installation, Dr. Peruzzi taught the lab members how to use the system and demonstrated how to acquire SRS image stacks which are image stacks suitable for stereology.

Dr. Young’s lab is a key component of the Neuropsychiatry Research Program supported by TAMUSCOM and the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. The  Neuropsychiatry Research Program focuses on translational and clinical research with an emphasis on schizophrenia and other brain diseases.  It has core facilities for stereological analysis of neuropathological tissue, immunohistochemistry, neurochemistry, behavioral pharmacology, and clinical psychopharmacology trials.

We’re pleased to be able to provide a specialized system for Dr. Young and his team.



Take a Look at the Latest Research Using MBF Systems (week of 2/18/13)


Our systems were mentioned in 10 published research papers last week alone.  Take a closer look at some of the research…


  • Garske, A. K., Lawyer, C. R., Peterson, B. M., & Illig, K. R. (2013). Adolescent Changes in Dopamine D1 Receptor Expression in Orbitofrontal Cortex and Piriform Cortex Accompany an Associative Learning Deficit. PLoS ONE8(2). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056191
  • Négyessy, L., Pálfi, E., Ashaber, M., Palmer, C., Jákli, B., Friedman, R. M., … & Roe, A. W. (2013). Intrinsic horizontal connections process global tactile features in the primary somatosensory cortex: Neuroanatomical evidence.Journal of Comparative Neurology. doi: 10.1002/cne.23317

Continue reading “Take a Look at the Latest Research Using MBF Systems (week of 2/18/13)” »

Take a Look at the Latest Research Using MBF Systems (week of 1/28/13)



Our systems were mentioned in 13 published research papers last week alone.  Take a closer look at some of the research…




  • Akyüz, N., Rost, S., Mehanna, A., Bian, S., Loers, G., Oezen, I., … & Schachner, M. (2013). Dermatan 4- O-sulfotransferase1 ablation accelerates peripheral nerve regeneration. Experimental Neurology. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2013.01.025
  • Carmel, J. B., Kimura, H., Berrol, L. J., & Martin, J. H. (2013). Motor cortex electrical stimulation promotes axon outgrowth to brain stem and spinal targets that control the forelimb impaired by unilateral corticospinal injury. European Journal of Neuroscience. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12119
  • Cisbani, G., Freeman, T. B., Soulet, D., Saint-Pierre, M., Gagnon, D., Parent, M., … & Cicchetti, F. (2013). Striatal allografts in patients with Huntington’s disease: impact of diminished astrocytes and vascularization on graft viability.Brain. doi: 10.1093/brain/aws359
  • Cullen, C. L., Burne, T. H., Lavidis, N. A., & Moritz, K. M. (2013). Low Dose Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Induces Anxiety-Like Behaviour and Alters Dendritic Morphology in the Basolateral Amygdala of Rat Offspring. PLOS ONE8(1), e54924. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054924
  • Hughes, D. I., Boyle, K. A., Kinnon, C. M., Bilsland, C., Quayle, J. A., Callister, R. J., & Graham, B. A. (2013). HCN4 subunit expression in fast-spiking interneurons of the rat spinal cord and hippocampus. Neuroscience. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.01.028

Stereo Investigator:

  • Carmel, J. B., Kimura, H., Berrol, L. J., & Martin, J. H. (2013). Motor cortex electrical stimulation promotes axon outgrowth to brain stem and spinal targets that control the forelimb impaired by unilateral corticospinal injury. European Journal of Neurosciencedoi: 10.1111/ejn.12119
  • Chen, C. D., Sloane, J. A., Li, H., Aytan, N., Giannaris, E. L., Zeldich, E., … & Abraham, C. R. (2013). The Antiaging Protein Klotho Enhances Oligodendrocyte Maturation and Myelination of the CNS. The Journal of Neuroscience33(5), 1927-1939. doi: 10.1523/​JNEUROSCI.2080-12.2013
  • Gould, K. L., Gilbertson, K. E., Hrvol, A. J., Nelson, J. C., Seyfer, A. L., Brantner, R. M., & Kamil, A. C. (2013). Differences in Relative Hippocampus Volume and Number of Hippocampus Neurons among Five Corvid SpeciesBrain, Behavior and Evolution81(1), 56-70.
  • Gyengesi, E., Andrews, Z. B., Paxinos, G., & Zaborszky, L. (2013). Distribution of secretagogin-containing neurons in the basal forebrain of mice, with special reference to the cholinergic corticopetal system. Brain Research Bulletin. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2013.01.009
  • He, Z., Ferguson, S. A., Cui, L., Greenfield Jr, L. J., & Paule, M. G. (2013). Role of Neural Stem Cell Activity in Postweaning Development of the Sexually Dimorphic Nucleus of the Preoptic Area in Rats. PLOS ONE8(1), e54927. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054927
  • Inan, M., Blázquez-Llorca, L., Merchán-Pérez, A., Anderson, S. A., DeFelipe, J., & Yuste, R. (2013). Dense and Overlapping Innervation of Pyramidal Neurons by Chandelier Cells. The Journal of Neuroscience33(5), 1907-1914. doi: 10.1523/​JNEUROSCI.4049-12.2013
  • Karasinska, J. M., de Haan, W., Franciosi, S., Ruddle, P., Fan, J., Kruit, J. K., … & Hayden, M. R. (2013). ABCA1 influences neuroinflammation and neuronal death. Neurobiology of Disease. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2013.01.018
  • Morales-Medina, J. C., Juarez, I., Venancio-García, E., Cabrera, S. N., Menard, C., Yu, W., … & Quirion, R. (2013). Impaired structural hippocampal plasticity is associated with emotional and memory deficits in the olfactory bulbectomized rat. Neuroscience. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.01.037
  • Wang, X., Zielinski, M. C., Misawa, R., Wen, P., Wang, T. Y., Wang, C. Z., … & Hara, M. (2013). Quantitative Analysis of Pancreatic Polypeptide Cell Distribution in the Human Pancreas. PLOS ONE8(1), e55501. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055501


Meet the Team: Mark Barton, Director of Sales and Marketing

Mark Barton

Name: Mark Barton

Position: Director of Sales and Marketing

How long have you been working at MBF Bioscience?: 7.5 years

What do you do?: My responsibilities are primarily to manage all of our sales and marketing efforts. I work together with every department, and every day is something different.  I work with customers to help them make the most of their research budgets when they need new equipment for their lab; I work with our software development team to help decide what new features we want to add to our products; I work with our marketing team to help find new ways for our customers to learn about our products and services; I work with our operations team to make sure new orders are processed, delivered and installed on time, and I’m here to support our sales team and make sure they have all of the most up-to-date information. I also work with the management team to plan for the future and make sure we’re all on the same page. I learn something new every day.

What are you working on right now? This past year we implemented a new CRM (customer relationship management) system and phase II will be starting in 2013 so we are planning for that.  We also updated our website in 2012 and continue to add new content. We’re always looking for new products to integrate with our software and constantly testing them to make sure they meet our expectations. We’ll be adding some new hardware to our list of supported products and have some new reseller agreements so we can offer these to our customers as complete turn-key solutions.

What are some of the highlights MBF is working on for 2013? The Neuroscience Conference is the biggest event of the year for Sales and Marketing and we invested in a new booth design in 2012.  We were very pleased with how well it helped us communicate with our customers at the 2012 meeting in New Orleans and now it’s time to plan for San Diego. Two products we released in the last two years, Biolucida Cloud and WormLab, have both been very well received and we look forward to making these even better in 2013.

What new things has the company been involved with lately? We opened an office in Brazil (MBF Bioscience – South America). Dr. Jose Maldonado worked with us for several years here in Vermont and moved to Brazil to help us support our customers in South America, Mexico and also Africa. In terms of our new products, we have some exciting things on the horizon: this year we plan to attend a trade show for researchers that work with C. elegans to show our new WormLab software. Also, our development team is putting a lot of time and energy into Biolucida Cloud right now and it really shows.  We’re very excited about all of the feedback we have been receiving from our customers. Our new Biolucida Cloud product manager is very focused on helping us launch this exciting new technology.
How do you spend your free time? I love to be active so I spend a lot of time outdoors with my family. In the warmer weather I run, hike, kayak, and go mountain biking, and in the cooler weather I go cross-country skiing with my wife, or alpine skiing or snowboarding with my daughters. My wife and I like to stay fit. We have practiced martial arts together for the last 13 years; we ran our first Spartan Beast obstacle course race at the Killington Ski Resort in September (14 miles, 6,000 feet of vertical climbing, and 30 obstacles to challenge us), and in  December, we dressed in Santa Claus suits (along with 2,000 other “Santas”) and ran a 5k in Burlington to raise money for a summer camp for children with cancer.  It was a lot of fun and a great cause.
What was the last vacation you took? This past April I went to Sanibel-Captiva islands in Florida with my family and we made a quick visit to some theme parks along the way. Lots of fun in the sun and relaxing on the beach.

To learn more about the MBF Bioscience team, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

MBF Bioscience Supports the 4th Vermont Brain Bee

brain-bee-2011-jn-photo-3Thirty-six high school students passionate about neuroscience will be competing at the 4th annual Vermont Brain Bee on February 9th, 2013 at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Participants will be asked questions about a wide variety of topics: anatomy and development, learning and memory, stress, types of research, neurogenerative disorders, etc. They will also get the opportunity to engage in neuroscience activities and to meet with neuroscience faculty and graduate students. The winner will then compete in the National Brain Bee, an event that takes place in March during Brain Awareness Week.

Participation in the Vermont Brain Bee is on the rise thanks to the burgeoning of neuroscience clubs in Vermont high schools thanks to a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation. Brain injury survivor Lisa Bernardin has been instrumental in promoting the creation of these clubs;  she’s been giving talks about her experience and involved neuroscience undergraduate students in her presentations in an effort to better engage the high school audience.

We are proud to renew our support for this event since we, along with the Brain Bee’s organizers, believe that inspiring young people to engage in careers contributing to neuroscience is imperative.

The Vermont Brain Bee is coordinated by Bernardin with the support of UVM faculty and the Vermont Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience .

Find more information about the 2013 event here and watch WCAX .

Take a Look at the Latest Research Using MBF Systems (week of 1/21/13)



Our systems were mentioned in 11 published research papers last week alone.  Take a closer look at some of the research…



Stereo Investigator:


  • Bories, C., Husson, Z., Guitton, M. J., & De Koninck, Y. (2013). Differential Balance of Prefrontal Synaptic Activity in Successful versus Unsuccessful Cognitive Aging. The Journal of Neuroscience33(4), 1344-1356. doi: 10.1523/​JNEUROSCI.3258-12.2013
  • Kim, J. Y., Ash, R. T., Ceballos‐Diaz, C., Levites, Y., Golde, T. E., Smirnakis, S. M., & Jankowsky, J. L. (2013). Viral transduction of the neonatal brain delivers controllable genetic mosaicism for visualising and manipulating neuronal circuits in vivo. European Journal of Neuroscience. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12126
  • Morel, A., Gallay, M. N., Baechler, A., Wyss, M., & Gallay, D. S. (2013). The human insula: architectonic organization and postmortem mri registration. Neuroscience. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.12.076
  • Poller, W. C., Madai, V. I., Bernard, R., Laube, G., & Veh, R. W. (2013). A glutamatergic projection from the lateral hypothalamus targets VTA-projecting neurons in the lateral habenula of the rat. Brain Research. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.01.029
  • Song, C. H., Bernhard, D., Bolarinwa, C., Hess, E. J., Smith, Y., & Jinnah, H. A. (2013). Subtle microstructural changes of the striatum in a DYT1 knock-in mouse model of dystonia. Neurobiology of Disease. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2013.01.008


Take a Look at the Latest Research Using MBF Systems (12/24-1/4)


Our systems were mentioned in 13 published research papers over the past couple of weeks.  Take a closer look at some of the research…

Stereo Investigator:

  • Acosta, S. A., Tajiri, N., Shinozuka, K., Ishikawa, H., Grimmig, B., Diamond, D., … & Borlongan, C. V. (2013). Long-Term Upregulation of Inflammation and Suppression of Cell Proliferation in the Brain of Adult Rats Exposed to Traumatic Brain Injury Using the Controlled Cortical Impact Model. PLOS ONE,8(1), e53376. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053376
  • Chtarto, A., Bockstael, O., Gebara, E., Vermoesen, K., Melas, C., Pythoud, C., … & Tenenbaum, L. (2013). An Adeno-Associated Virus-Based Intracellular Sensor of Pathological Nuclear Factor-κB Activation for Disease-Inducible Gene Transfer. PLOS ONE8(1), e53156. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053156
  • Hua, K., Schindler, M. K., McQuail, J. A., Forbes, M. E., & Riddle, D. R. (2012). Regionally Distinct Responses of Microglia and Glial Progenitor Cells to Whole Brain Irradiation in Adult and Aging Rats. PLOS ONE7(12), e52728. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052728
  • Khan, M. M., Dhandapani, K. M., Zhang, Q. G., & Brann, D. W. (2012). Estrogen regulation of spine density and excitatory synapses in rat prefrontal and somatosensory cerebral cortex [Abstract]. Steroids. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2012.12.005
  • Kumar, A., Stoica, B. A., Sabirzhanov, B., Burns, M. P., Faden, A. I., & Loane, D. J. (2012). Traumatic brain injury in aged animals increases lesion size and chronically alters microglial/macrophage classical and alternative activation states [Abstract]. Neurobiology of Aging. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.11.013
  • Lee, N. C., Shieh, Y. D., Chien, Y. H., Tzen, K. Y., Yu, I., Chen, P. W., … & Hwu, W. L. (2012). Regulation of the dopaminergic system in a murine model of aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency [Abstract]. Neurobiology of Disease. doi:10.1016/j.nbd.2012.12.005
  • Littrell, O. M., Granholm, A. C., Gerhardt, G. A., & Boger, H. A. (2013). Glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) replacement attenuates motor impairments and nigrostriatal dopamine deficits in 12-month-old mice with a partial deletion of GDNFPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2012.12.022
  • Uzkeser, M., Sahin, H., Ozogul, B., Cayir, Y., Alper, F., & Emet, M. (2013). Defining the percentage of intra-abdominal hemorrhage in abdominal computerized tomography using stereology in patients with blunt liver injury and determining its relationship with outcomes [Abstract]. The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery74(1), 224-229. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318270df0e


  • Fan, C., Zheng, Y., Cheng, X., Qi, X., Bu, P., Luo, X., … & Cao, Q. (2013). Transplantation of D15A-Expressing Glial-Restricted-Precursor-Derived Astrocytes Improves Anatomical and Locomotor Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury. International Journal of Biological Sciences9(1), 78. doi:10.7150/ijbs.5626
  • Kawabe, T., Kawabe, K., & Sapru, H. N. (2012). Effect of Barodenervation on Cardiovascular Responses Elicited from the Hypothalamic Arcuate Nucleus of the Rat. PLOS ONE7(12), e53111. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045180
  • Lopes, A., Torres, D. B., Rodrigues, A. J., Cerqueira, J. J., Pêgo, J. M., Sousa, N., … & Boer, P. A. (2012). Gestational protein restriction induces ca3 dendritic atrophy in dorsal hippocampal neurons but does not alter learning and memory performance in adult offspring. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2012.12.003
  • Maseko, B. C., Jacobs, B., Spocter, M. A., Sherwood, C. C., Hof, P. R., & Manger, P. R. (2012). Qualitative and Quantitative Aspects of the Microanatomy of the African Elephant Cerebellar Cortex [Abstract]. Brain, Behavior and Evolution. doi: 10.1159/000345565
  • Miao, S., Chen, R., Ye, J., Tan, G. H., Li, S., Zhang, J., … & Xiong, Z. Q. (2013). The Angelman Syndrome Protein Ube3a Is Required for Polarized Dendrite Morphogenesis in Pyramidal Neurons. The Journal of Neuroscience,33(1), 327-333. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.2509-12.2013

Unveiling WormLab 2.0, the Latest Version of our Groundbreaking Worm Tracking Software

We are delighted to introduce WormLab 2.0.  Our latest version of WormLab features an intuitive step-by-step workflow to analyze the locomotion and behavior of C. elegans and is now available to Mac and Windows 8 users. We’ve worked hard to improve our tracking algorithms, particularly our self-overlap and entanglement algorithms.  We’ve added whole plate mode for tracking many worms on a plate and added extensive camera support for over 1,400 different camera models.  Tracking is much faster throughout and the 64-bit version is even faster than the 32-bit version.

“Researchers are often overwhelmed by the painstaking frame by frame data collection process, often performed over hundreds of frames, which can be a tedious process.  With WormLab, video capture and tracking only take minutes so that researchers can focus on the meaningful part – analysis and interpretation.  Furthermore, the collected data is easily exported for more custom analysis to other software like Excel or Matlab,” says Jeff Sprenger, VP of Research.

Learn more about WormLab from our website and try WormLab 2.0 for free  for 30 days with full technical support.


MBF Bioscience Featured on Vermont Public Television

MBF Bioscience was featured in an episode of Emerging Science,  a television series that features Vermont scientists who expand human knowledge and help solve problems around the world.   The episode explored the link between traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder in military personnel coming back from war.

MBF Bioscience President Jack Glaser and Staff Scientist Susan Hendricks give us some perspective from a research standpoint as they briefly address the ways in which learning more about the injured brain could help find a cure. How does a brain injury affect the neurons in the affected area? Are there fewer neurons than there were before?  Has the shape of the neurons changed? Are there fewer connections between neurons than there were before injury? There is still so much more to explore.

Watch the episode online.