Microglia 3D Rendering

Using Blender 2.8
to visualize microglia morphology

Blender is an open-source 3D content creation suite, and it is free of charge! At first, the GUI and general handling can be a bit intimidating, and the learning curve is quite steep, but the performance is simply impressive. Using a Cx3cr1-gfp reporter system, I visualized microglia within 200 μm brain slices trying to capture their entire dendrite morphology. Iso-surfaces were created in IMARIS, exported as .wrl, imported into blender, custom-texturized, and rendered. Hover over images to zoom.

What color do microglia actually have?
Explore macrophage biology 3D

Interactive 3D model of a cloaking, resident tissue macrophage

We are always looking for ways to better visualize and communicate the lab’s science. This is pretty cool: Sketchfab allows you to upload 3D models people can directly interact with, supposed to also have VR options… and you directly embed the model into your website. So click it, drag it, spin it, zoom in and out, and go wild with it…

DESCRIPTION Intravital microscopy allowed me to capture this individual resident tissue macrophage in the process of sending long membranous processes towards a laser-induced sterile stromal damage in order to contain it (“cloaking”). Fluorescence intensity data was rendered as an iso-surface in IMARIS, exported as .vrml, processed in MeshLab, saved as .stl, uploaded to Sketchfab, and finally ended up here. A long way for a single cell. Enjoy!