Enhancing Neuroscience Research with Advanced Optical Microscopy

Neuroscience IndustryAdvanced Vision Technologies Deliver Higher Quality and More Detailed Image Capture

Neuroscience is the study of the structure and function of the nervous system and the brain. Optical imaging techniques, which include two-photon and three-photon imaging, optical coherence microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, and light sheet microscopy, to name a few, are being used for a wide variety of health, injury and disease studies in neuroscience.

Optical imaging technologies are particularly advantageous when examining multiple brain regions simultaneously, providing deeper insights into cell activity of the healthy brain as well as of diseases such as vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, autism, stroke, and others. New vision technologies are being leveraged by researchers around the world to develop microscopes and instruments for neuroscientific study that tackle specific imaging challenges and needs.

One such development is the mesoSPIM microscopes. Mesoscale selective plane-illuminations microscopes (mesoSPIM) were born out of a need for high quality anatomical images in large samples over a very short time. Leveraging the latest developments in microscope instrumentation and software, these light-sheet microscopes are capable of capturing minute detail of brain tissue at faster rates than ever before. Unlike traditional methods using a blade, optical sectioning of the sample protects it from damage. The sections are then reconstructed to produce a 3D image of the whole sample. These microscopes are currently being used for research to restore movement after paralysis and to learn more about neural networks involved in cognition, pleasure and drug addiction.

Ultra-high resolution, faster image acquisition, RGB-Near Infrared, smaller cameras, AIA Vision Standards, and machine learning are among the exciting new technologies enabling higher quality and more detailed image capture of dynamic processes in the brain. Leading to improvements in diagnostics and treatment, advanced vision technologies are helping the neuroscience community to gain a deeper understanding of how neurons in the brain communicate to produce complex behaviors.