A permanent window for the murine lung enables high-resolution imaging of cancer metastasis

David Entenberg, Sonia Voiculescu, Peng Guo, Lucia Borriello, Yarong Wang, George S. Karagiannis, Joan Jones, Francis Baccay, Maja Oktay, John Condeelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Stable, high-resolution intravital imaging of the lung has become possible through the utilization of vacuum-stabilized imaging windows. However, this technique is extremely invasive and limited to only hours in duration. Here we describe a minimally invasive, permanently implantable window for high-resolution intravital imaging of the murine lung that allows the mouse to survive surgery, recover from anesthesia, and breathe independently. Compared to vacuum-stabilized windows, this window produces the same high-quality images without vacuum-induced artifacts; it is also less invasive, which allows imaging of the same lung tissue over a period of weeks. We further adapt the technique of microcartography for reliable relocalization of the same cells longitudinally. Using commonly employed experimental, as well as more clinically relevant, spontaneous metastasis models, we visualize all stages of metastatic seeding, including: tumor cell arrival; extravasation; growth and progression to micrometastases; as well as tumor microenvironment of metastasis function, the hallmark of hematogenous dissemination of tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalNature Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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