LUCID - an innovative tissue clearing technology

A gentler method to render 3D organs and tissues transparent is set to transform understanding of biology and disease.

What's LUCID?

Transparency by immersing living tissue pieces in a specific reagent is one of the promising techniques because it helps to observe the inside of the pieces without slicing. As a result, the risk of missing pathological tissue such as cancer is reduced. Furthermore, this eliminates the need for complicated specimen preparation, reducing time and costs.

The organ looks opaque because light is scattered like frosted glass. This is because the refractive index of the biological fluid is different from the cell nucleus and cell membrane that make up the cells of the organ. However, if the biological fluid has the same refractive index as the cell tissue, light scattering will be suppressed; that is, when the biological fluid is replaced with a clearing solution with the same refractive index as the cell tissue, the tissue will appear transparent.

However, conventional clearing liquids use organic solvents or degreasing components. Therefore, a loss of biological components is observed. As a result, no detailed biopsy is possible. Furthermore, the specimens take a long time to become transparent and they cannot be stored for an extended period due to tissue failure.

LUCID solves the above problems. LUCID does not contain toxic or flammable substances that could interfere with its use in biopsy. Living tissue pieces can become transparent in a short time just by immersing them in LUCID. LUCID does not cause tissue deformation during the transparency process. Furthermore, since LUCID can retain the original components of the organs, the red of hemoglobin iron in blood can be observed as it is.

In addition, LUCID will enable observation of the internal structures of plants, allowing it to be used extensively in botany and agriculture.

LUCID: iILUmination of Cleared organs to IDentify target molecules

Treatment Samples

Rat lung and intestine treated with LUCID
Five-year-old smelt treated with LUCID
Five-year-old smelt treated with LUCID


Morphology inside rat small intestine observed after LUCID treatment

Academic Papers and Presentations

  • Tsuyoshi Sekitani, Tomoyuki Yokota, Kazunori Kuribara, Martin Kaltenbrunner, Takanori Fukushima, Yusuke Inoue, Masaki Sekino, Takashi Isoyama, Yusuke Abe, Hiroshi Onodera & Takao Someya (2016) Ultraflexible organic amplifier with biocompatible
    gel electrodes. Nature Communications 2016, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11425
  • Hiroya Mizutani, Satoshi Ono, Tetsuo Ushiku, Yotaro Kudo, Masako Ikemura, Natsuko Kageyama, Nobutake Yamamichi, Mitsuhiro Fujishiro, Takao Someya, Masashi Fukayama, Kazuhiko Koike and Hiroshi Onodera (2018) Transparency-enhancing technology allows three-dimensional assessment of gastrointestinal mucosa: A porcine modelPathology International 2018; 68: 102–108
  • Sawada, Kazuaki; Kawakami, Ryosuke; Shigemoto, Ryuichi; Nemoto, Tomomi (2018) Super-resolution structural analysis of dendritic spines using three-dimensional structured illumination microscopy in cleared mouse brain slices. European journal of neuroscience, 47(9): 1033-1042
  • Eriko Ikeda, Jun Ushio, Yuki Kawasaki, Kensuke Yokoyama, Hironori Yamamoto, Hiroshi Onodera, Noriyoshi Fukushima (2019) Tissue Clearing Technology Allows Three-Dimensional Assessment of Pancreatic Tumor Tissue Obtained by Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy (EUS-FNAB). LABORATORY INVESTIGATION USCAP 2019


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Sales Information

We're selling following products.
LUCID-B clearing reagent (for research use)
Refractive index 1.53~1.54 (also compatible with plants)

2ml(1ml×2) Trial Pack : ¥19,800 (Japanese Yen)

※Please inquire about the price and the details.
※Overseas sales price changes according to the exchange rate.
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