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Whole Brain Nanoscale Preservation Imaging

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41MH112318-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41MH112318
Amount: $915,835.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 101
Solicitation Number: PA15-269
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-09-21
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-04-04
Small Business Information
Oakland, CA 94607-3433
United States
DUNS: 080108651
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (617) 821-9129
Business Contact
Phone: (415) 562-5706
Research Institution
255 MAIN STREET NE18-901
CAMBRIDGE, MA 02142-1029
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Abstract Summary
Nectome will create technologies to enable whole brain nanoscale preservation and imaging a vital step
towards a deep understanding of the mind and of the brainandapos s diseases Current brain processing technologies
compromise between whole brain applicability or nanoscale resolution our technologies will achieve both si
multaneously Similar to the way that next generation genetic sequencing has helped to unlock the potential of
genomics these technologies will provide a foundation and set the path for the next generation of brain imag
ing We will modify the two most promising nanoscale brain preparation techniques expansion microscopy
and plastic embedding to use vascular perfusion instead of diffusion This will enable them to overcome
their current thickness limit of microns in order to scale to whole brain samples We will also integrate both
methods with aldehyde stabilized cryopreservation ASC a powerful brain banking technique which can durably
preserve the nanoscale structure of whole brains for centuries with no decay
Electron microscopy EM has been used for over years to analyze brain tissue and is considered the gold
standard for nanoscale brain imaging Expansion microscopy ExM is a very recently developed brain imaging
technique that physically expands brain tissue to times its original size enabling nanoscale resolution
of brain tissue with normal light microscopes and with uorescent labels to detect a diverse array of molecules
normally invisible with electron microscopy
Whole brain adaptations of EM and ExM will be of great interest to pharmaceutical companies wishing to
evaluate the effects of drugs on brain ultrastructure and seeking to avoid wasting large amounts of brain tissue as
is currently done in many studies We also see immense application in the burgeoning eld of Connectomics the
study of the brainandapos s detailed pattern of connectivity and in brain banks wishing to store important brain samples
with unprecedented detail We foresee commercial opportunity in offering brain preservation and processing
both as a service for processing whole brains and as a kit for researchers who wish to accomplish this nanoscale
preservation and imaging in their own labs Project Narrative
We will create technologies to enable whole brain nanoscale imaging and preservation These technologies
for whole brain analysis are a vital step towards deep understanding of the mind and of many brain diseases
they promise to do for neuroscience what whole genome analysis has done for biology

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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