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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Optoacoustic Calcium Imaging of Deep Brain Activity in an Intracardially Perfused Mouse Brain Model

Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging, Helmholtz Center Munich, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany
Faculty of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, 81765 Munich, Germany
Faculty of Medicine and Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Tech4Health and Neuroscience Institutes and Department of Ophthalmology, New York University Langone Health, New York, NY 10010, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Photonics 2019, 6(2), 67;
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurophotonics – Optics for the Brain)
One main limitation of established neuroimaging methods is the inability to directly visualize large-scale neural dynamics in whole mammalian brains at subsecond speeds. Optoacoustic imaging has advanced in recent years to provide unique advantages for real-time deep-tissue observations, which have been exploited for three-dimensional imaging of both cerebral hemodynamic parameters and direct calcium activity in rodents. Due to a lack of suitable calcium indicators excitable in the near-infrared window, optoacoustic imaging of neuronal activity at deep-seated areas of the mammalian brain has been impeded by the strong absorption of blood in the visible range of the light spectrum. To overcome this, we have developed and validated an intracardially perfused mouse brain preparation labelled with genetically encoded calcium indicator GCaMP6f that closely resembles in vivo conditions. By overcoming the limitations of hemoglobin-based light absorption, this new technique was used to observe stimulus-evoked calcium dynamics in the brain at penetration depths and spatio-temporal resolution scales not attainable with existing neuroimaging techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: optoacoustic neuroimaging; GCaMP6f; calcium dynamics; functional neuroimaging optoacoustic neuroimaging; GCaMP6f; calcium dynamics; functional neuroimaging
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Degtyaruk, O.; Mc Larney, B.; Deán-Ben, X.L.; Shoham, S.; Razansky, D. Optoacoustic Calcium Imaging of Deep Brain Activity in an Intracardially Perfused Mouse Brain Model. Photonics 2019, 6, 67.

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