Large-scale microscopy approaches are transforming brain imaging, but currently lack efficient multicolor contrast modalities. We address this issue by introducing chromatic multiphoton serial (ChroMS) microscopy, a method combining multicolor multiphoton excitation through wavelength mixing and microtome-assisted serial block-face image acquisition. This approach delivers large-scale micrometric imaging of spectrally distinct fluorescent proteins with constant micrometer-scale resolution and sub-micron channel registration over the entire imaged volume. We achieve multicolor 3D imaging over several cubic millimeters and brain-wide serial 2D multicolor imaging. We illustrate the potential of this method for several novel types of measurements interesting for region-scale or whole brain studies: (i) color-based analysis of astrocyte morphology and spatial interactions in the mouse cerebral cortex, (ii) tracing of densely labeled neurons, and (iii) brain-wide mapping of axonal projections labeled with distinct tracers.
Single-cell dry mass measurement is used in biology to follow cell cycle, to address effects of drugs, or to investigate cell metabolism. Quantitative phase imaging technique with quadriwave lateral shearing interferometry (QWLSI) allows measuring cell dry mass. The technique is very simple to set up, as it is integrated in a camera-like instrument. It simply plugs onto a standard microscope and uses a white light illumination source. Its working principle is first explained, from image acquisition to automated segmentation algorithm and dry mass quantification. Metrology of the whole process, including its sensitivity, repeatability, reliability, sources of error, over different kinds of samples and under different experimental conditions, is developed. We show that there is no influence of magnification or spatial light coherence on dry mass measurement; effect of defocus is more critical but can be calibrated. As a consequence, QWLSI is a well-suited technique for fast, simple, and reliable cell dry mass study, especially for live cells.