Longitudinal Intravital Microscopy using a Mammary Imaging Window with Replaceable Lid.


The branched structure of the mammary gland is highly dynamic and undergoes several phases of growth and remodeling after birth. Intravital microscopy in combination with skin flap surgery or implantation of imaging windows has been used to study the dynamics of the healthy mammary gland at different developmental stages. Most mammary imaging technologies are limited to a time frame of hours to days, whereas the majority of mammary gland remodeling processes occur in time frames of days to weeks. To study mammary gland remodeling, methods that allow optical access to the tissue of interest for extended time frames are required. Here, an improved version of the titanium mammary imaging window with a replaceable lid (R.MIW) is described that allows high-resolution imaging of the mammary gland with a cellular resolution for up to several weeks. Importantly, the R.MIW provides tissue access over the entire duration of the intravital imaging experiment and could therefore be used for local tissue manipulation, labeling, drug administration, or image-guided microdissection. Taken together, the R.MIW enables high-resolution characterization of the cellular dynamics during mammary gland development, homeostasis, and disease.

More about this publication

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE
  • Issue nr. 179
  • Publication date 20-01-2022

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