We are developing a variety of tools that combine calcium imaging and electrophysiology. The goal is to enable multimodal measurements of neural dynamics that provide contrasting novel insights into the relationships between calcium signals, spikes and LFP signals. We will build miniaturized microscopes with integrated circuitry for calcium imaging and electrophysiology in a single device. We will manufacture high-density silicon microprobes or tetrode drives that can be implanted and connected to a single device for simultaneous cellular-resolution calcium imaging and electrophysiological recordings. We are also developing a new generation of light field miniaturized microscopes to allow for volumetric imaging. Anticipated hardware challenges will address analysis of imaging and electrophysiological recordings, usually done offline and may take up to weeks; but to understand how defined neurons drive specific networks behaviors, it is essential to integrate real-time feedback capabilities into recording devices. To address this, we will develop FPGA-based tools for real-time alignment, segmentation of calcium imaging movies, as well as real-time spike sorting and LFP phase detection for on-the-fly optogenetic feedback. Finally, we will share all these devices with the neuroscience community through our website miniscope.org, as well as by continuing to host workshops teaching microscope and electrophysiological device assembly, use, data analysis in an environment that fosters collaborative improvement of our open-source devices.
Key Research Resources Being Developed and Disseminated
The NeuroNex Neurotechnology Hub will develop and share next-generation miniaturized invivo sensing devices that integrate optical and electrophysiological recording from hundreds of thousands of neurons in behaving animals; create light field miniaturized microscopes allowing for three-dimensional optical recordings of network activity in freely behaving animals; in addition to manufacturing and distributing custom made, 3-dimensional silicon microprobes for large scale electrophysiological recordings.
Our team is committed to making all technologies in development accessible to as many investigators as possible, as soon as possible, as cheaply as possible. To facilitate this, we will create a single online information resource linking to detailed information about how users can access each of the technologies emerging from this effort. We anticipate a very broad range of users spanning from hundreds to thousands of neuroscience research labs, as reflected by the diverse interests of collaborators who provided letters for our proposal. We will take advantage of the existing miniscope.org site for sharing parts lists, designs, and data analysis tools. This site already has over 1,000 members with a vibrant discussion forum. In terms of instrumentation, we will adopt the following strategies and timetable to disseminate technology.
Reaching Out to the Community