Capturing tissue repair in zebrafish larvae with time-lapse brightfield stereomicroscopy

Thomas S. Lisse, Elizabeth A. Brochu, Sandra Rieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The zebrafish larval tail fin is ideal for studying tissue regeneration due to the simple architecture of the larval fin-fold, which comprises of two layers of skin that enclose undifferentiated mesenchyme, and because the larval tail fin regenerates rapidly within 2-3 days. Using this system, we demonstrate a method for capturing the repair dynamics of the amputated tail fin with time-lapse video brightfield stereomicroscopy. We demonstrate that fin amputation triggers a contraction of the amputation wound and extrusion of cells around the wound margin, leading to their subsequent clearance. Fin regeneration proceeds from proximal to distal direction after a short delay. In addition, developmental growth of the larva can be observed during all stages. The presented method provides an opportunity for observing and analyzing whole tissue-scale behaviors such as fin development and growth in a simple microscope setting, which is easily adaptable to any stereomicroscope with time-lapse capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere52654
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number95
StatePublished - Jan 31 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Developmental biology
  • Fin regeneration
  • Heated incubation chamber
  • Issue 95
  • Post-imaging analysis
  • Stereomicroscope
  • Time-lapse imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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