In Memoriam: Edmund M. Glaser, PhD

Dr. Edmund Glaser devoted his career of more than four decades to the field of neuroscience. Most notably, in 1963, he co-invented computer microscopy, a pioneering method of quantifying the brain’s morphometry. This technology, for the first time, applied computer techniques to the neuroanatomical world, permitting scientists to precisely quantify the brain’s three-dimensional structure. It simplified time-consuming, inexact classical methodologies in an efficient and cost-effective method. By 1995, the year of Dr. Glaser’s retirement, computer microscopy had been adopted by thousands of neuroscience laboratories throughout the world.

Dr.Edmund GlaserDr. Glaser started his college education in his hometown, New York City, studying Electrical Engineering at The Cooper Union. In the midst of his college career, he was drafted and served in the U.S. Army during WWII. His duty took him to Nuremberg, where he was a sound recordist and photographer who documented the Medical War Trials of infamous Nazi physicians. After his military service, he completed his bachelor’s degree in 1949. After doing early project work in communications systems and guided missiles for the U.S. Air Force, he soon became attracted to the emerging fields of computing, information theory, and artificial intelligence. In 1952, he returned to his academic studies in engineering. He received a PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1960 and then secured a postdoctoral fellowship in its Department of Physiology in the School of Medicine.

In 1963, Dr. Glaser teamed up with Dr. Hendrik Van der Loos, a neuroanatomist at Johns Hopkins, to study the complex morphology of the brain’s cerebral cortex. They encountered the shortcomings of the time’s tedious neuroanatomical techniques and noted the need to revamp the prevailing methods of analyzing neuron morphology and neuronal networks within the cerebral cortex. It was then that they formulated the design and the construction of the first computer microscope.

Computer microscopy at that time was based on the use of analog computer technology. Glaser and Van der Loos demonstrated the great improvements that could made in neuroanatomy by adapting computer technology, it showed the practical way to represent the brain’s structure in its intrinsic three-dimensional reality. In so doing, the quantification of neuroanatomy was wholly revolutionized. Tracing neuronal structures was reduced from hours to minutes and measurement precision was able to achieve fractional micron accuracy. What is more, large assemblies of neuronal networks could be examined in quantitative detail in three dimensions.

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Scientists use Vesselucida 360 to quantify brain vasculature in mTBI model

It is not uncommon for war veterans returning home from war-zones like Iraq and Afghanistan to suffer from blast-induced traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In these situations, the most common types of blasts are lower level blasts, the kind that produce mild TBIs (mTBI). Though the effects of a mTBI aren’t visible from the outside, scientists say the blood vessels inside the brain are deeply altered.

In their study of a mouse model of mTBI that mimics the blast exposure associated with human mild TBI, a research team, that includes MBF Bioscience Scientific Director Dr. Susan Tappan, say that low-level blast exposure disrupts the way cells interact with each other within the brain’s neurovascular unit.

Fig:1 Chronic vascular pathology in blast-exposed rats revealed by micro-CT scanning. Two control and two blast-exposed rats were transcardially perfused with the Brite Vu contrast agent at 10 months after blast exposure. Brains were scanned at a resolution of 7.5 μm using equispaced angles of view around 360°, and 3D reconstructions were prepared with Bruker’s CTVox 3D visualization software. a-d MIP images of volume-rendered brain vasculature from two control (a, b) and two blast-exposed (c, d) rats revealed diffuse thinning of the brain vasculature in the blast-exposed rats. Scale bar, 2 mm. e-h Trace sagittal reconstructions used for the automated quantitation from control (e-f) and blastexposed rats (g-h) o-p Higher magnification views of the regions outlined by the boxes in panels (f) and (h). Scale bars, 1 mm for (e-h), and 0.6mm for (o-p). i-n Reconstructions of coronal optical sections from the brains of control (i, k) and blast-exposed (j, l) animals. Panels (i) and (j) correspond approximately to coordinates interaural 12.24–9.48 mm and panels (k) and (l) correspond approximately to coordinates interaural 6.94–3.24 mm. Lateral views of (i) and (j) are shown in (m) and (n), respectively. Vessels were color coded to allow visualization of individual vessels automatically traced by the Vesselucida 360 software. Note the general loss of radial organization in the blast-exposed shown in panel (j). Scale bar, 1 mm for (i-n)

Aiming to mimic an event often experienced by soldiers and military personnel in war-torn regions, the scientists exposed rats to a series of three blasts — one blast per day, over three consecutive days. Though the rats developed behaviors typical to chronic PTSD, their neuronal pathology, at least at the light and electron microscopy levels remained unchanged, according to the study. However, when the researchers examined the rat brains on a vascular level, they found evidence of chronic damage.

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MBF Bioscience research team contributes novel dendritic spine analysis in study published in Science

Combination of new microscopy and expansion tissue preparation methods facilitate better and faster analysis of subcellular neural elements.

Today, the journal Science published a paper authored by a research team led by Dr. Ed Boyden of MIT and Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Eric Betzig of Janelia Research Campus. Among the authors are MBF Bioscience Scientific Director Dr. Susan Tappan and Senior Software Engineer Alfredo Rodriguez. In the paper, the researchers introduce new analyses for neural circuits at nanoscale resolutions.

Combining microscopy methods that create high resolution 3D images from whole brains and tissue that have been made physically larger, the researchers imaged a mouse cortex and fruit fly brain in their study “Cortical column and whole-brain imaging of neural circuits with molecular contrast and nanoscale resolution (Gao et al, 2019).”

By creating enhanced processing and analysis tools in MBF Bioscience’s Stereo Investigator and Neurolucida 360 software, Dr. Tappan and Mr. Rodriguez analyzed these images to obtain comprehensive morphometrics of delicate dendritic spines at a greater accuracy than ever before.

GAO ET AL./SCIENCE 2019

“We combined expansion microscopy and lattice light sheet microscopy (ExLLSM) to image the nanoscale spatial relationships between proteins across the thickness of the mouse cortex or the entire Drosophila brain, including synaptic proteins at dendritic spines, myelination along axons, and presynaptic densities at dopaminergic neurons in every fly neuropil domain.” (Gao et al, 2019)

While several forms of microscopy exist that have the ability to image subcellular neural elements, scientists say that each of these methods is lacking in one way or another. According to the paper, the combination of expansion microscopy with lattice-light sheet microscopy gives the most effective results, while considerably decreasing the time spent carrying out the experiment.

“I believe this type of imaging represents a major milestone in terms of the accuracy that can be achieved in dendritic spine morphometry from light microscopy,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

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MBF Bioscience receives NIH funding to support innovative research program on the peripheral nervous system

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MBF Bioscience Williston, VT – January 9, 2019 – MBF Bioscience is pleased to announce our participation in the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this extensive research initiative is a vast collaborative effort, which aims to deepen the understanding of how the peripheral nervous system impacts internal organ function.

“We are honored to be working in collaboration with over 40 research teams in the United States and around the world who are making revolutionary discoveries about how the network of nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord affect organs such as the heart, stomach, and bladder, and what role these nerves play in diseases like hypertension and type II diabetes as well as gastrointestinal and inflammatory disorders,” says Jack Glaser, President of MBF Bioscience.

To facilitate this important research, MBF Bioscience will provide the collaborating research scientists with both software and support. Specifically, we will provide image segmentation tools developed to handle large and diverse amounts of scientific image data. Software applications such as Neurolucida 360®, Tissue Mapper™ and Tissue Maker™ will enable researchers to image and analyze nerves, tissues, and entire organs in 2D and 3D.

“Representing the innervation patterns accurately and robustly is an essential contribution to the generation of representative models that can be used for simulations.  We are working with our partners at the University of Auckland, under the direction of Professor Peter Hunter, to create these models for each organ system that will be an enduring resource for scientists for years to come,” says Susan Tappan, Scientific Director at MBF Bioscience.

Researchers involved in the SPARC program are making important advances in health and medicine, which may lead to the development of new therapies for managing an array of illnesses and disorders. Some examples of research areas include subcutaneous nerve stimulation for arrhythmia control, sensory neuromodulation of the esophagus, and mapping of the neural circuitry of bone marrow. We are thrilled about this opportunity to work in partnership with such an impressive array of research teams on this ground-breaking project.

About MBF Bioscience
MBF Bioscience creates quantitative imaging and visualization software for stereology, neuron reconstruction, vascular analysis, C. elegans behavior analysis, and medical education—integrated with the world’s leading microscope systems—to empower research. Our development team and staff scientists are actively engaged with leading bioscience researchers, and constantly work to refine our products based on state-of-the-art scientific advances.

Founded as MicroBrightField, Inc. in 1988, we changed our name to MBF Bioscience in 2005 to reflect the expansion of our products and services to new microscopy techniques in all fields of biological research and education. While we continue to specialize in neuroscience research, our products are also used extensively in pulmonary, cardiac, kidney, cancer, stem cell, and toxicology research.

Our commitment to innovative products and unrivaled customer support has gained high praise from distinguished scientists all over the world and resulted in MBF expanding into a global business with offices in North America, Europe, Japan, and China. Our flagship products, Stereo Investigator® and Neurolucida®, are the most widely-used analysis systems of their kind.

About SPARC

Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) program that focuses on understanding peripheral nerves — nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body — and how their electrical signals control internal organ function. Methods and medical devices that modulate these nerve signals are a potentially powerful way to treat many diseases and conditions, such as hypertension, heart failure, gastrointestinal disorders, type II diabetes, inflammatory disorders, and more.

Huron Digital Pathology and MBF Bioscience Partner to Enable Large-scale, Repeatable Whole Slide Imaging Workflows for Life Science Research

MBF Bioscience now offers customized models of Huron Digital Pathology’s TissueScope™, a line of whole slide scanners, and supports TissueScope images across its range of analysis software.

October 23, 2018 – Huron Digital Pathology and MBF Bioscience are proud to announce their partnership to offer customized models of Huron’s TissueScope whole slide scanners integrated with MBF’s Stereo Investigator® – Whole Slide Edition, NeuroInfo®, Biolucida®, and BrainMaker® software. The partnership gives researchers new tools to visualize and analyze tissue specimens throughout entire organs, large and small, at high-resolution.

“Combining our analysis software with Huron’s whole slide scanners means that researchers can get the most advanced systems for large-scale, repeatable whole slide imaging workflows,” says Jack Glaser, President of MBF Bioscience. “We are pleased to partner with Huron Digital Pathology to provide Huron/MBF whole slide research systems. As the recognized leader in the fields of stereology, brain mapping, and neuron tracing, we are proud to offer systems with such a distinguished company as Huron. This partnership will now allow researchers to effectively work with microscopic specimens that range in size from mice brains to human brains. It is invaluable for researchers working with large brain specimens, especially those investigating the microscopic intricacies of the human brain.”

“By partnering with MBF Bioscience, our goal is to help accelerate life science research,” says Patrick Myles, CEO of Huron Digital Pathology. “Being able to scan any size tissue and then easily manage, visualize, and quantify the data opens up amazing new possibilities for scientific research and exploration.”

The partnership enables Stereo Investigator, NeuroInfo, Biolucida, and BrainMaker software to efficiently provide quantitative analysis workflows for large sets of slides from both individual tissue sections and series of tissue sections. Stereo Investigator – Whole Slide Edition offers analyses for counting and measuring morphological aspects relevant to disease state characterization. BrainMaker and NeuroInfo offer full-resolution section alignment and brain mapping. Biolucida offers slide management and slide access for viewing and analysis at unprecedented speeds from any web-enabled device. The customized versions of TissueScope scanners are available for purchase from MBF Bioscience.

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Visit MBF Bioscience at Booth 2235 at SfN 2018 in San Diego

Every year, we look forward to showcasing our new products and latest developments at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting. This year, from November 3 – 7, we’ll be at SfN 2018 in San Diego, at Booth #2235, where our team of expert scientists and engineers will be on hand to offer personalized demonstrations of all of our products.

This year, we are thrilled to introduce two major new software solutions: Vesselucida 360, an application for reconstructing microvascular networks in 3D, and NeuroInfo for automatic identification of brain anatomy in your sections.

We are also excited to showcase the following:

➛ Software and systems

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MBF Bioscience’s New Software Vesselucida 360 Reconstructs Microvascular Networks in 3D

Williston, VT – September 5, 2018 – Researchers studying microvascular networks and vessels have a groundbreaking new software application to facilitate their work. Developed by MBF Bioscience, Vesselucida® 360 automatically reconstructs and analyzes microvascular networks in 3D.

Specifically designed to recognize the intricacies of the vascular system, Vesselucida features sophisticated algorithms that quickly and accurately create 3D reconstructions of images and tissue specimens. Built-in analyses provide data on segments and node counts, frequency of anastomoses, as well as metrics on vessel surface and volume.

Automatic reconstruction of vascular structure labeled with tomato lectin
Image courtesy Dr. Stan Watson, University of Michigan, USA

Vesselucida 360 also features a full suite of tools, which lets researchers manually trace and edit 3D reconstructions to fine-tune particularly complex image data. Companion analysis software, Vesselucida Explorer performs sophisticated data analysis for scientists seeking answers to their most challenging research questions.

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MBF Bioscience Launches Stereo Investigator Whole Slide Edition for Quantitative Analysis of Whole Slide Image Data

Williston, VT – June 29, 2018 – MBF Bioscience is pleased to announce the launch of the Whole Slide Edition of Stereo Investigator. This is a new version of our renown Stereo Investigator software, designed especially for conducting stereology on images from slide scanners.

Featuring a streamlined, user-friendly interface, this new product includes a variety of probes for quantifying number, length, volume, and surface area of cells, structures, and regions of biological tissue. The software works with all 2D microscope images, and is an especially attractive solution for researchers who work mostly, or exclusively, with slide scanners.

The main benefits of Stereo Investigator – Whole Slide Edition include:
· Accurate, unbiased quantitative analysis of images from slide scanners
· Designed workflows and user-interface specifically for analyzing whole slide images
· Compatible with all popular slide scanning file formats
· Enhanced user interface that is easy to use for 2D stereology probes
· Integrates with our Biolucida image management system
· Affordable
· Includes MBF technical and scientific support
· Free trial versions are available

“We’re very excited about the opportunity this gives to many of our customers who want to use stereology to perform quantitative analysis of their whole slide image data. Stereo Investigator – Whole Slide Edition provides a powerful, lower-cost version of Stereo Investigator with a user interface designed specifically for 2D image data,” says MBF Bioscience Director of Sales & Marketing Mark Barton.

For over a decade, Stereo Investigator has been considered the gold standard for carrying out stereological studies on biological tissue, and is cited in peer reviewed publications ten times more than any other stereology system. With the release of Stereo Investigator – Whole Slide Edition, MBF Bioscience continues its dedication to further assisting the research of our valued customers.

For more information about Stereo Investigator Whole Slide Edition and to request a quote, visit http://www.mbfbioscience.com/stereo-investigator-whole-slide-edition

American Association of Anatomists Launches Virtual Microscopy Database powered by Biolucida

Free resource for educators and researchers features thousands of downloadable histology slides

Educators and researchers around the world now have free access to a database of whole slide images (also known as virtual slides) for histology and pathology. Featuring thousands of virtual slides contributed by 15 universities, The Virtual Microscopy Database, VMD, (http://www.virtualmicroscopydatabase.org/) is an online resource that allows educators to view and download virtual images and share their own.

Powered by MBF Bioscience‘s Biolucida® for Medical Education solution, VMD gives educators an overview of individual slides and allows examination of various parts of the image at magnifications up to 40x. The users can take a screenshot or download the file at any time.

Funded by an Innovations Program Grant awarded by the American Association of Anatomists (AAA), the resource was developed by researchers from the University of Colorado, Drexel University College of Medicine, and the University of Michigan with corporate support from MBF Bioscience. With thousands of freely accessible virtual microscopy images, the VMD helps meet a growing need for better access to histology slides among educators and non-profit research organizations. The AAA foresees the images being used in a variety of educational ways such as for lectures, exams, and for creating supplementary course material as well as for non-profit research initiatives.

Collection of Virtual Slides in the Biolucida Viewer

“The greatest strength of the VMD is the availability of a large number of high quality virtual microscopy images to its users. The diversity and multiple examples of histological variations available in the VMD collections will enable histology and pathology educators to elevate the quality of their teaching by exposing their students to a broader variety of images and by experimenting with new pedagogical techniques in their classrooms.” (Lisa Lee, Ph.D., University of Colorado)

“We are proud to be part of the AAA’s efforts to improve the access of histology and pathology digital slides for medical educators and students by providing the underlying technology for this important resource. Any of the virtual slides in this new resource can be downloaded and used on an organization’s Biolucida on-premise or cloud-based server,” says Jack Glaser, president of MBF Bioscience.

Individuals affiliated with educational or research institutions may register to access the database. Once approved, users can browse files, or search for specific types of tissue. Currently, the VMD site includes over 2,600 virtual microscopy files, but as new users join the VMD file sharing community that number will grow as will the diversity of tissue and species type.

About AAA:

The American Association of Anatomists was founded by Joseph Leidy in Washington, D.C. in 1888 for the “advancement of anatomical science.” Today, via research, education, and professional development activities, AAA serves as the professional home for an international community of biomedical researchers and educators focusing on the structural foundation of health and disease.

About MBF Bioscience:

MBF Bioscience produces advanced microscopy imaging and analysis systems for biomedical research and education. The award-winning company was co-founded in 1988 by Edmund and Jack Glaser.

www.mbfbioscience.com

Contact:

Nathan O’Connor, Ph.D.

Product Manager/Technical Sales

nate.oconnor@mbfbioscience.com

1-802-288-9290

NeuroMorpho.Org Releases Nearly 10,000 New Neuron Reconstructions and Neurolucida leads the way

Image Courtesy: Bob Jacobs, Ph.D. , Colorado College

With the release of its new version on November 28, NeuroMorpho.org adds 9,987 new images to its archive, bringing its impressive collection of digitally reconstructed neurons to 80,012.

Scientists used MBF Bioscience’s software, Neurolucida and Neurolucida 360, to reconstruct the majority of these cells. In fact, 64 times more neurons were reconstructed with MBF Bioscience software than those imaged by our closest commercial competitor – that’s 42,121 reconstructions compared to 656. This metric demonstrates that Neurolucida and Neurolucida 360 are truly the gold standards for neuron reconstruction.

Featuring contributions from hundreds of laboratories from around the globe, NeuroMorpho.Org is the world’s leading database of publicly accessible 3D neuronal reconstructions and associated metadata. From the dragonfly to the humpback whale, researchers have access to accurate and verified data from an array of different organisms. Arranged by animal species, brain region, cell type, or contributing laboratory, each file contains specific details about the cell’s morphology such as age, developmental stage, soma volume, and number of branches – all of which are searchable.

Recently, NeuroMorpho.Org hit the 8 million download mark, with researchers in 166 different countries accessing this valuable resource, and more than one thousand published articles referencing its data