Human kidneys contain about one million tiny tubes, called nephrons, that filter an amazing 190 liters (400 pints) of blood every 24 hours. The mouse kidney in the image has about ten thousand nephrons. A sophisticated MRI imaging technique shows how they are organized. Different colors indicate different directions in which the nephrons are oriented.
The kidney was dissected from a mouse and then immersed in a solution that enhances the MRI signal. The image was taken using a technique called high-resolution MRI susceptibility tensor imaging. The length of the kidney is about 11 mm.
Image courtesy of Luke Xie, PhD, Russell Dibb, PhD, and G. Allan Johnson PhD, Center for In Vivo Microscopy, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, and Chunlei Liu, PhD, Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Duke University Medical Center.