Biologists, chemists, and physicists have joined forces to create an absolutely unique solution – a fiber imaging bundle for the precise study of the activity of the #cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and deep brain areas of living animals.
Even though the solution presented in the article required the immobilization of the head of the examined mouse, the use of a fiber imaging bundle also allowed us to measure how the brain works during movement, i.e. during the natural behavior of the animal!
Importantly, the placement of a miniaturized fiber imaging bundle in the brain of a mouse or rat is minimally invasive and doesn’t cause them any discomfort that could affect the results of the observations. Moreover, these solutions are relatively cost-effective and allow to monitor the work of even single neurons!
The fiber imaging bundle, which is the main element of the above-mentioned device, is a flexible optical fiber with a thickness of approx. 0.5 mm, with nearly 1000 cores. Furthermore, each of the cores is a separate ‘pixel’ of the image. The fiber imaging bundle consists of two types of special glasses developed in the laboratories of our Institute. Did you know that the glasses used in this device were initially used for data transmission and astronomy?
The fiber imaging bundle and its creative use are the results of cooperation between the Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (the team of Prof. Leszek Kaczmarek and Rafał Czajkowski, Ph.D.), Łukasiewicz – IMIF (the team of Prof. Ryszard Buczyński) and the Institute of Experimental Physics of the University of Warsaw (team of Radek Łapkiewicz, Ph.D.)
What’s the purpose of all this?
Of course, nowadays, just animals are tested, but the knowledge and experience gained here, in the future will provide information, e.g. on the formation of human memories, addictions, psychiatric diseases, degenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease), and will also enable the observation of the activity of genes related to learning processes.
Financing: Foundation for Polish Science.
You can read about the results of research conducted by the above-mentioned scientists in the prestigious journal “ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces”. 15(10), 12831-12841 (2023). DOI: doi.org/10.1021/acsami.2c22985