Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2022, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (1): 98-110.DOI: 10.11983/CBB21175

• SPECIAL TOPICS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Applications of Optical Clearing Technique in Multi-scale Imaging

Lingyu Ma1,3†, Xiaohong Qi1†, Zijian Hu1,2, Weiwei Shen1,2, Guangchao Wang1,2, Bolin Zhang1,2,4, Xi Zhang1,2,4,*(), Jinxing Lin1,2,4,*()   

  1. 1College of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
    2Institute of Tree and Genome Editing, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
    3Research Institute of Wood Industry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
    4National Engineering Laboratory for Tree Breeding, College of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2021-10-11 Accepted:2022-01-13 Online:2022-01-01 Published:2022-01-17
  • Contact: Xi Zhang,Jinxing Lin
  • About author:First author contact:

    These authors contributed equally to this paper


The optical clearing techniques are common methods that allow biological tissues or organs to be deeply transparent and imaged under an optical microscope by processing with chemical reagents. Driven by a variety of optical microscopy technologies, the entire tissue can be imaged and reconstructed three-dimensionally (3D) using the clearing technique to deeply analyze the internal spatial characteristics and formation mechanism of biological tissues. In recent years, several optical clearing techniques and multi-scale imaging techniques have been developed and fruitful researches have been reported. This article discusses basic principles and some new techniques of optical clearing, with particular focus on new imaging methods based on optical clearing technique and their applications in plant imaging and cell biology. This review will provide theoretical basis and technical support for the subsequent research on clearing, imaging and 3D reconstruction and function of whole plants, tissues or organs.

Key words: clearing of whole plant, multi-scale imaging, optical clearing technique, three-dimensional reconstruction