Miniaturized Optical Neuroimaging Systems

Authored by: Hang Yu , Janaka Senarathna , Betty M. Tyler , Nitish V. Thakor , Arvind P. Pathak

Handbook of Neurophotonics

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781498718752
eBook ISBN: 9780429194702
Adobe ISBN:


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For over a century, optical microscopy has been a major tool for neuroscience research. Historically, optical microscopy enabled the earliest neuroscientists to elucidate the ‘neuron doctrine’ from static histological brain samples (Llinás, 2003). Now, optical microscopy has evolved to capture the dynamics of neurons in action with real-time imaging from a variety of mammalian and non-mammalian organisms. Unlike functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET), optical imaging techniques allow us to monitor brain function with unprecedented spatio-temporal details. In conjunction with the ever-expanding repertoire of contrast agents that label neural activity (Lin and Schnitzer, 2016), such as genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECI) (Tian et al., 2009), fluorescent voltage sensors (Gong et al., 2015) or neurochemically activated glutamate sensors (Marvin et al., 2013), optical imaging tools are able to monitor neural and neural-related activities directly with high specificity and sensitivity.

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