New Confocal Technique Offers Images Of Working Neurons

Boston University project helps reveal complex brain functions in living animals.

Microscopy platforms able to monitor large populations of cells in living specimens are increasingly vital for understanding neuronal activity, but scanning microscope technologies with micron-scale resolution can be slow and produce impractically large amounts of data.

A project at Boston University has developed a novel microscopy technique that could help tackle this problem. Termed Multi-Z confocal microscopy, it can provide two-color fluorescence imaging over fields of view larger than one millimeter, and yield simultaneous multi-plane imaging without axial scanning.

“We found a way to merge the needed imaging features in a microscopy system that is easy to build and operate,” said Amaury Badon of Boston University. “It also provides results in real time without the need for complicated data analysis or image processing.” The research was published in Optica.

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