UNIT 14.16 Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Tissues

  1. Francisco Cruz,
  2. Richard T. Lee,
  3. Hayden Huang

Published Online: 1 MAY 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0471142727.mb1416s74

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

How to Cite

Cruz, F., Lee, R. T. and Huang, H. 2006. Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Tissues. Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. 74:14.16:14.16.1–14.16.13.

Author Information

  1. Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2006
  2. Published Print: APR 2006


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.


  • fluorescence microscopy;
  • image registration;
  • histology;
  • cell morphology