High Spatiotemporal Resolution Neural Recording System Using Active Sensing

Physical Sciences Inc (PSI), in collaboration Dartmouth College, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has been awarded a research program from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and demonstrate a novel fluorescence neural imaging technology that enables high-speed recording of membrane potentials from multiple neurons.

The investigation of the complex neural dynamics and the cognitive functions of the brain requires non-invasive recording tools with high spatial and temporal resolution. Fluorescence imaging/microscopy is one of the state-of-the-art technologies for high spatial resolution recording of the activity of neuron populations. However, existing fluorescence neural imaging technologies generally have limited speed, providing less than a few hundred frames per second. The milliseconds or slower temporal resolution substantially precludes measuring the precise timing of the generation and propagation of neuron spikes, which is the key component of neural signaling.

PSI’s technology combines two complementary imaging channels to achieve parallel neuronal recording with both sub-micron spatial and sub-millisecond temporal resolution. The high-speed recording function is achieved using a novel imaging technique based on a high-sensitivity single-point detector and a high-speed spatial light modulator (SLM). We have demonstrated the feasibility of the technology by imaging cultured neurons labeled with calcium and voltage indicating fluorescent sensors. During this effort, a prototype will be developed that will include a universal high spatiotemporal resolution sensor that is compatible with various imaging setups including head-mounted fluorescence mini-microscopes. This project will result in a robust technology for non-invasive recording of neuronal kinetics with high spatiotemporal resolution, offering a greatly needed tool in the neuroscience field.
For more information, contact:

Dr. Nicusor Iftimia
Area Manager, Biomedical Optics Technology
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003