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The combination of tissue preparation techniques, advanced optical microscopy, and big data analysis is revolutionizing the way of studying the brain anatomy. These techniques already allowed us to map cell distribution or to reconstruct neuronal circuits in whole mouse brains. However, the analysis of the ...

The combination of tissue preparation techniques, advanced optical microscopy, and big data analysis is revolutionizing the way of studying the brain anatomy. These techniques already allowed us to map cell distribution or to reconstruct neuronal circuits in whole mouse brains. However, the analysis of the human brain is still in its infancy. Such specimens present specific challenges that need to be solved in comparison to animal models: massive dimension of the specimen (up to several cm3), geometry, variability of post-mortem fixation conditions and storage, presence of blood inside the vessels, autofluorescence signals coming from lipofuscin-type pigments, and labeling. Indeed, alteration of antigens, due to fixation and/or long storage, could prevent good immunostaining recognition.

The goal of this collection is to give an overview of the new methodologies that can be used to perform human brain study from the macro to the micro-scale. Indeed, various optical technologies have started to address human brain reconstruction in combination with tissue clearing techniques, advanced immunostaining methods, or relying on label-free detections. Moreover, the capability of obtaining the reconstruction of human brains has also raised the problem of creating new software platforms that enable to manage, analyze, and share TB-sized volumetric images.

In this Research Topic, we call for techniques which are recently developed and are related to the study of the human brain architecture, such as advanced optical imaging techniques for both label and label-free measurement, tissue preparation methods (i.e tissue clearing techniques, advanced immunostaining or stereological methods), and computational approaches for big data analysis. Combined approached pipelines created to cover multiple-scale and/or questions are also welcome to be presented.

Themes of interest include but are not limited to the following:
- Human brain imaging
- Different ages (development, adult, and aging) and pathology
- Various cell types mapping (neurons, glia, vasculature)
- Brain connectivity
- Tissue preparation techniques (i.e clearing methods, multiple staining)
- Advanced fluorescence microscopy techniques (i.e LSFM, TPFM)
- Label-free techniques (i.e OCT, 3D-PLI, SRS, CARS)
- Deep learning methods
- Data analysis
- Digital atlasing
- Data integration and confederation
- Data sharing

Excluded
- Other organs and species
- Conventional neuroimaging (MRI is allowed only in combination with others high-resolution optical imaging techniques)

All article types accepted by the Journal are welcome for submission, including original research and reviews.

Keywords: Human brain, optical imaging, tissue preparation, clearing, big data


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