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Zhao, Shan; Todorov, Mihail Ivilinov; Cai, Ruiyao; Ai-Maskari, Rami; Steinke, Hanno; Kemter, Elisabeth; Mai, Hongcheng; Rong, Zhouyi; Warmer, Martin; Stanic, Karen; Schoppe, Oliver; Paetzold, Johannes Christian; Gesierich, Benno; Wong, Milagros N.; Huber, Tobias B.; Duering, Marco; Bruns, Oliver Thomas; Menze, Björn; Lipfert, Jan; Puelles, Victor G.; Wolf, Eckhard; Bechmann, Ingo; Ertuerk, Ali (2020): Cellular and Molecular Probing of Intact Human Organs. In: Cell, Vol. 180, No. 4: pp. 796-812
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Optical tissue transparency permits scalable cellular and molecular investigation of complex tissues in 3D. Adult human organs are particularly challenging to render transparent because of the accumulation of dense and sturdy molecules in decades-aged tissues. To overcome these challenges, we developed SHANEL, a method based on a new tissue permeabilization approach to clear and label stiff human organs. We used SHANEL to render the intact adult human brain and kidney transparent and perform 3D histology with antibodies and dyes in centimeters-depth. Thereby, we revealed structural details of the intact human eye, human thyroid, human kidney, and transgenic pig pancreas at the cellular resolution. Furthermore, we developed a deep learning pipeline to analyze millions of cells in cleared human brain tissues within hours with standard lab computers. Overall, SHANEL is a robust and unbiased technology to chart the cellular and molecular architecture of large intact mammalian organs.