Cellular morphology is inherently three-dimensional. However, most histological techniques for tissue analysis focus on extracting information from two-dimensional slices of fixed samples or dissociated cells. These techniques result in a significant loss of the three-dimensional information of the tissue, including true cell volume, orientation, and whole cell shape. This unit discusses various options for three-dimensional imaging, provides a protocol for performing post-processing reconstruction based on serial slicing, and discusses the current advantages and limitations of the three-dimensional approach to quantitative tissue analysis. The focus of this protocol is on cardiac tissue, but the techniques can be applied to any solid tissue.

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Rich Lee seeks to understand heart failure and metabolic diseases that accompany human aging, and translate that understanding into therapies. Lee is an active clinician, regularly treating patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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