PySight is a new multiphoton microscopy tool developed by researchers for rapid 2D and 3D imaging of the brain and other tissues. The team hopes that the tool will soon help scientists gain a better understanding of brain dynamics, assisting in the discovery of groundbreaking treatments for various health problems such as stroke, epilepsy, and dementia. It combines commercially available off-the-shelf hardware with open-source software for photon-depleted imaging conditions like in rapid multiphoton microscopy.
Its software then reads the resulting list of photon arrival times, determines the origin of each detected photon within the brain, and generates time-lapse volumetric movies. In a recent paper, researchers show how PySight can track neuronal activity in awake mice and fruit flies. While initially designed for neuroimaging purposes, the tool can help various other imaging applications, including detecting malignant cells in human patients during surgical procedures.
Furthermore, PySight can extend to any imaging method that uses ‘bucket’ detectors, ranging from compressive imaging to image restoration to lidar – for example, autonomous driving or airborne and satellite surveying. PySight’s ‘plug-and-play nature allows it to upgrade existing microscopes with minimal effort on the researcher’s part. The team initially set out to show the response function of cortical blood vessels to neuronal activity across the mammalian cortex.