Synaptic boutons modeled in 3D

The May 30th issue of Science featured a research article on a 3D model of synaptic vesicle recycling. The effect is stunning, on many levels.

In Composition of isolated synaptic boutons reveals the amounts of vesicle trafficking proteins, Wilhelm et al. present a model of an "average" synapse. High-resolution images from stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy were used to pinpoint the location of 300,000 molecules, representing ~100-200 proteins. The authors used Autodesk Maya to create the 3D model. See the Supplementary Materials for more information on their methods.

The work was led by Professor Silvio Rizzoli of the European Neurosciences Institute. Visit his laboratory homepage to see more of his work.

The video below is included in the Supplementary Materials online in Science.