It has become evident that the microvasculature (i.e., the vasculature visible at the light microscopic level) plays a critical role in the plasticity of he brain under various physiological and pathological conditions, including fundamental processes in neuroplasticity such as axonal, dendritic and synaptic plasticity during brain development, learning, recovery from traumatic brain injury and brain inflammation, aging and neurodegeneration, as well as during neurogenesis (i.e., the generation of new neurons) and the migration of neuronal precursors (to their final destination in the brain). Accordingly, investigators have attempted for more than 30 years to trace, reconstruct, visualize and quantitatively characterize the microscopic three-dimensional (3D) micro-angioarchitecture of the brain in normal and pathological tissue (3D microangioarchitectonics). However, there has been very little use of 3D microangioarchitectonics in neuroscience research. This is due to the paucity of tools to study 3D microangioarchitectonics. We therefore propose to create Vesselucida, an innovative software product to perform advanced, interactive and automatic 3D microangioarchitectonics in normal and pathological brain tissue. This system will allow significant advancements in studies addressing the roles of microvessels on various aspects of neuroplasticity in neuroscience research, as well as in pharmacological and biotechnology research and development as the basis for the development of innovative treatments to fight complex brain diseases. Accordingly, the development of Vesselucida represents clear progress beyond the state-of-the-art, with great benefits for the neuroscience research community and society in general.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed project will enable important new research, which is currently not feasible, into the critical role of the microvasculature in the plasticity o the brain under various physiological and pathological conditions (such as brain development, learning, recovery from traumatic brain injury and brain inflammation, aging and neurodegeneration). To achieve this aim, the proposed project will develop and commercialize an innovative image analysis system to permit interactive and automatic reconstruction of the blood vessel network in normal and pathological brain tissue at the light microscopic level. This system will open new horizons in studies addressing the roles of microvessels on various aspects of neuroplasticity in neuroscience research, as well as in pharmacological and biotechnology research and development as the basis for the development of innovative treatments to fight complex brain diseases.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
Project #
5R43MH099721-02
Application #
8731273
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Grabb, Margaret C
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Microbrightfield, Inc.
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Williston
State
VT
Country
United States
Zip Code
05495