Two-Photon Microscopy Rapidly Captures Neuron Patterns

According to the researchers, new two-photon microscopy can capture video of brain activity 15 times more quickly than was previously thought feasible, revealing voltage changes and neurotransmitter release over sizable regions and simultaneously monitoring hundreds of synapses.

The new tool, known as scanned line angular projection microscopy, or SLAP, increases the efficiency of data gathering by condensing several pixels into a single measurement and scanning only the pixels in the areas of interest. A gadget controls the image’s illumination and subsequent scanning. Before the two-photon imaging process starts, a high-resolution image of the sample is taken to direct the scope and enable scientists to decompress the data to produce in-depth videos.

A beam of light is swept across a sample along four distinct planes by SLAP, similar to a computed tomography scanner that creates an image by scanning a patient from various perspectives. The scope gathers all the data points along that line into a single figure rather than storing each pixel in the beam’s path as a separate data point.

To obtain data for each spot in the sample, computer programs then decode the lines of pixels. With structured samples, SLAP can digitally restore high-resolution images with voxel rates exceeding 1 billion hertz (Hz). Each observation in conventional two-photon microscopy requires a short amount of time. When creating a video, measurements must be made for each pixel in the picture in each frame. It ought to constrain how quickly one can take a photo. The brand-new microscope overcomes these restrictions, reaching a speed previously only possible over very small areas.

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