Deep Brain Imaging and Stimulation


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Background: Optogenetic Stimulation and Calcium Imaging in Freely Behaving Animals

A long-standing objective in neuroscience has been elucidating how neural activity relates to diverse brain functions in vivo. Researchers have attempted to address this by developing a wide-range of all-optical tools for simultaneously imaging and manipulating neural activity in freely-moving animals. To be viable for in vivo neuroscience research, these techniques necessitate high temporal resolution to image and manipulate neuronal firing at physiological speed, and high spatial resolution to image and manipulate specific individual neurons or regions. In addition, any components that are to be mounted onto a live animal must be as light as possible (e.g. <2g or lighter), in order to help extend the length of experiments and reduce extraneous factors (e.g. stress) allowing for more natural animal behaviour to be observed during experiments. These are the technical standards set for these technologies.

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Commercially Available Systems

OASIS Implant: Freely-Behaving Cellular-Resolution Optogenetics and Calcium Imaging System by Mightex

OASIS Implant: Integrated Cellular-Resolution Optogenetics & Imaging System from Mightex.
OASIS Implant System Configuration for Cellular-Resolution Optogenetics and Calcium Imaging
A sample GCaMP image captured by OASIS Implant.

OASIS Implant is capable of performing simultaneous all-optical recording (e.g. Calcium imaging) and manipulation (e.g. cellular-resolution optogenetics) in the deep brain, cortex or multiple brain regions of a freely behaving animal, with cellular-resolution. The OASIS Implant is a platform that can be reconfigured to fit then specific optogenetics and imaging needs of any researcher.

Equipped with both wide-field and cellular-resolution optogenetic stimulation capabilities (when combined with, for example, Mightex's market-leading Polygon400), OASIS Implant allows scientists to perform cellular-resolution optogenetic stimulation with pin-point accuracy, and it is also capable of simultaneously stimulating multiple individual neurons without the unwanted stimulation of the neighboring neurons. Moreover, it is also capable of multi-color imaging and optogenetic stimulation.

Another key benefit of the OASIS Implant system for behavioral neuroscience is its super light-weight head mount. Since both deep-brain imaging and stimulation are delivered through a very thin imaging fiber, the overall weight of the head-mounted fixture is as little as 0.7g (compared to approximately 2~3g with a head-mounted camera), which minimizes stress experienced by the animal, and allows for the duration of the experiments to be extended. All of these features combined make the OASIS Implant an ideal research tool for in vivo experiments.

The OASIS Implant has been used for targeted optogenetic stimulation in the cortex of a freely-behaving mouse (Courtesy of Dr. Zhigang He, Harvard University). In addition, the OASIS Implant has been used for GCaMP imaging in the striatum of an awake mouse. The video on the right shows the freely behaving mouse with the imaging fiber attached. (Videos and recordings provided courtesy of a neuroscience researcher.)