14 March 2016

A lightbulb moment for the vasculature

Congratulations to Dr. Rob Wilkinson whose image of the developing zebrafish blood brain barrier has been shortlisted for this year’s BHF Reflections of Research Prize.

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Rob says, “This image was taken with our new BHF-funded Lightsheet Fluorescent Microscope, which is an incredibly fast but gentle way to image cardiovascular development.

"The image shows blood vessels that have been labelled with a fluorescent marker within a developing zebrafish brain. Each vessel has been colour coded depending upon its location within the brain.

"The fluorescent marker labels the actin cytoskeleton, a structure that helps blood vessels maintain their shape and organisation, but also provides mechanical support that allows blood vessels to grow. Zebrafish are translucent and this allows us to easily observe the formation of blood vessels within organs such as the brain as they develop.

"I can’t take credit for the beautiful transgenic line though, which was created by Aaron Savage, a PhD student in mine and Tim Chico’s labs.”

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