Zebrafish (Danio rerio) can be used as a vertebrate screening model to study the pharmacokinetics of nanomedicines in a cost-effective manner.
This is an alternative to studies in higher vertebrates such as rodents. At 72 hours post fertilization, hatched zebrafish embryos have reached a size of 3 mm. Using micromanipulators, a few nL of test compounds can be injected intranvenously.
Synchrotron radiation-based hard X-ray tomography in absorption and phase contrast modes can be used to visualize soft tissues. This label-free approach gives rise to a three-dimensional visualization of the zebrafish embryo with a spatial resolution of around 2 μm.
The present project was hosted by the X-Ray Tomography Group (Tomcat) of the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. This facility is specialized in tomographic X-ray imaging, exploiting synchrotron sources.