University of Oulu

Ulla Saarela, Saad Ullah Akram, Audrey Desgrange, Aleksandra Rak-Raszewska, Jingdong Shan, Silvia Cereghini, Veli-Pekka Ronkainen, Janne Heikkilä, Ilya Skovorodkin, Seppo J. Vainio. Novel fixed z-direction (FiZD) kidney primordia and an organoid culture system for time-lapse confocal imaging. Development 2017 144: 1113-1117; doi: 10.1242/dev.142950

Novel fixed z-direction (FiZD) kidney primordia and an organoid culture system for time-lapse confocal imaging

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Author: Saarela, Ulla1,2,3; Akram, Saad Ullah2,4; Desgrange, Audrey5,6;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
2Laboratory of Developmental Biology, Biocenter Oulu and InfoTech, 90220 Oulu, Finland
3Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Oulu Center for Cell Matrix Research, 90220 Oulu, Finland
4Center for Machine Vision Research, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
5Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, IBPS – UMR7622 Developmental Biology, Paris F-75005, France
6Institut de Biologie Paris-Seine (IBPS) – CNRS UMR7622 Developmental Biology, F-75005 Paris, France
7Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Company of Biologists, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-06-21


Tissue, organ and organoid cultures provide suitable models for developmental studies, but our understanding of how the organs are assembled at the single-cell level still remains unclear. We describe here a novel fixed z-direction (FiZD) culture setup that permits high-resolution confocal imaging of organoids and embryonic tissues. In a FiZD culture a permeable membrane compresses the tissues onto a glass coverslip and the spacers adjust the thickness, enabling the tissue to grow for up to 12 days. Thus, the kidney rudiment and the organoids can adjust to the limited z-directional space and yet advance the process of kidney morphogenesis, enabling long-term time-lapse and high-resolution confocal imaging. As the data quality achieved was sufficient for computer-assisted cell segmentation and analysis, the method can be used for studying morphogenesis ex vivo at the level of the single constituent cells of a complex mammalian organogenesis model system.

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Series: Development
ISSN: 0950-1991
ISSN-E: 1477-9129
ISSN-L: 0950-1991
Volume: 144
Pages: 1113 - 1117
DOI: 10.1242/dev.142950
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
3111 Biomedicine
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
Funding: This work was supported financially by the Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland) (206038, 121647, 250900, 260056; Centre of Excellence grant 2012-2017 251314), Munuaissäätiö – Finnish Kidney and Liver Association, the Sigrid Juseliuksen Säätiö, Novo Nordisk, Syöpäjärjestöt (Cancer Society of Finland), the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013; grant FP7- HEALTH-F5-2012-INNOVATION-1 EURenOmics 305608), and H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network “RENALTRACT” Project ID 642937.
EU Grant Number: (642937) RENALTRACT - Development and disease of the renal tract
(305608) EURENOMICS - European Consortium for High-Throughput Research in Rare Kidney Diseases
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 121647
Detailed Information: 121647 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
250900 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
260056 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
251314 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.