Purpose of review Histologic and electron microscopic analysis of the kidney has provided tremendous insight into structures such as the glomerulus and nephron. Recent advances in imaging, such as deep volumetric approaches and superresolution microscopy, have the capacity to dramatically enhance our current understanding of the structure and function of the kidney. Volumetric imaging can generate images millimeters below the surface of the intact kidney. Superresolution microscopy breaks the diffraction barrier inherent in traditional light microscopy, enabling the visualization of fine structures. Here, we describe new approaches to deep volumetric and superresolution microscopy of the kidney. Recent findings Rapid advances in lasers, microscopic objectives, and tissue preparation have transformed our ability to deep volumetric image the kidney. Innovations in sample preparation have allowed for superresolution imaging with electron microscopy correlation, providing unprecedented insight into the structures within the glomerulus. Summary Technological advances in imaging have revolutionized our capacity to image both large volumes of tissue and the finest structural details of a cell. These new advances have the potential to provide additional profound observations into the normal and pathologic functions of the kidney.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


  • Acrylamide-hybridized rigid
  • Clear
  • Imaging/immunostaining compatible tissue hydrogel (CLARITY)
  • Lipid-exchanged
  • Multiphoton microscopy
  • Stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM)
  • Superresolution microscopy


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