We propose a miniaturized intrinsic optical sensing system (MiniIOS) for monitoring the hemodynamic response from the brain surface of freely-behaving rodents. It integrates the light source, detector and data acquisition in a printed circuit board with a dimension of 5.5x4.7x1.8 mm3. This paper presents the system design, simulation and preliminary characterization.
Fiber photometry uses genetically encoded optical reporters to link specific cellular activity in stereotaxically targeted brain structures to specific behaviors. There are still a number of barriers that have hindered the widespread adoption of this approach. This includes cost, but also the high-levels of light required to excite the fluorophore, limiting commercial systems to the investigation of short-term transients in neuronal activity to avoid damage of tissue by light. Here, we present a cost-effective optoelectronic system for in vivo fiber photometry that achieves high-sensitivity to changes in fluorescence intensity, enabling detection of optical transients of a popular calcium reporter with excitation powers as low as 100 nW. By realizing a coherent detection scheme and by using a photomultiplier tube as a detector, the system demonstrates reliable study of in vivo neuronal activity, positioning it for future use in the experiments inquiring into learning and memory processes. The system was applied to study stress-evoked calcium transients in corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons in the mouse hypothalamus.
Functional monitoring of highly-localized deep brain structures is of great interest. However, due to light scattering, optical methods have limited depth penetration or can only measure from a large volume. In this research, we demonstrate continuous measurement of hemodynamics in different cortical layers in response to thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) using a single fiber optical system. A 200-μm-core-diameter multimode fiber is used to deliver and collect light from tissue. The fiber probe can be stereotaxically implanted into the brain region of interest at any depth to measure the di
use reflectance spectra from a tissue volume of 0.02-0.03 mm3 near the fiber tip. Oxygenation is then extracted from the reflectance spectra using an algorithm based on Monte Carlo simulations. Measurements were performed on the surface (cortical layer I) and at 1.5 mm depth (cortical layer VI) of the motor cortex in anesthetized rats with thalamic DBS. Preliminary results revealed the oxygenation changes in response to DBS. Moreover, the baseline as well as the stimulus-evoked change in oxygenation were different at the two depths of cortex.
We compare the illumination uniformity and the associated effects of the spiral and Lissajous scanning patterns that are commonly used in an endomicroscope. Theoretical analyses and numerical simulations were first performed to quantitatively investigate the area illumination density in the spiral scanning pattern. The results revealed the potential problem of manifest photodamage due to the very high illumination density in the center of the spiral scan. Similar analyses of the Lissajous scanning pattern, which can be conveniently implemented on the same endomicroscope with no hardware modifications, showed a more uniform illumination density with about an 80-fold reduction in the peak illumination density. To underscore the benefit offered by the improved illumination uniformity, we conducted in vitro two-photon fluorescence imaging of cultured cells stained with a LIVE/DEAD viability assay using our home-built, fiber-optic, two-channel endomicroscopy system. Both the spiral and the Lissajous scans were implemented. Our experimental results showed that cells near the spiral scan center experienced obvious photodamage, whereas cells remained alive over the entire region under the Lissajous beam scanning, confirming the predicted advantage offered by the Lissajous scan over this spiral scan in an endomicroscopy setting.
We report the novel use of laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) at multiple exposure times (meLSCI) for enhanced in vivo imaging of the microvascular changes that accompany angiogenesis. LSCI is an optical imaging technique that can monitor blood vessels and the flow therein at a high spatial resolution without requiring the administration of an exogenous contrast agent. LSCI images are obtained under red (632 nm) laser illumination at seven exposure times (1-7 ms) and combined using a curve-fitting approach to obtain high-resolution meLSCI images of the rat brain vasculature. To evaluate enhancement in in vivo imaging performance, meLSCI images are statistically compared to individual LSCI images obtained at a single exposure time. We find that meLSCI reduced the observed variability in the LSCI-based blood-flow estimates by 30% and improved the contrast-to-noise ratio in regions with high microvessel density by 41%. The ability to better distinguish microvessels, makes meLSCI uniquely suited to longitudinal imaging of changes in the vascular microenvironment induced by pathological angiogenesis. We demonstrate this utility of meLSCI by sequentially monitoring, over days, the microvascular changes that accompany wound healing in a mouse ear model.
Information processing and propagation in the central nervous system is mostly electrical in nature. At synapses, electrical signals cause the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, glutamate etc., that are sensed by post-synaptic neurons resulting in signal propagation or inhibition. It can be very informative to monitor electrical and neurochemical signals simultaneously to understand the mechanisms underlying normal or abnormal brain function. We present an integrated system for the simultaneous wireless acquisition of neurophysiological and neurochemical activity. Applications of the system to neuroscience include monitoring EEG and glutamate in rat somatosensory cortex following global ischemia.