Our lab is focused on developing innovative techniques and technologies to interface with the brain. These methods need to be tested and validated before they can be adopted in neurobiology studies or clinical applications. However, it is not always possible to use existing standard neurobiology rigs to test these novel techniques. To address this issue, we decided to design and implement a testbed for demonstrating and validating our neurotechnologies.
We have designed a customizable 2-photon rig that includes a semi-automated electrophysiology workstation for ex vivo extracellular recording and stimulation as well as patch-clamp recording. The modular design of this setup enables us to perform electrophysiology experiments simultaneously with optogenetic stimulation and calcium imaging. The micromanipulators and the motorized microscope stage can be controlled in sync with the camera and the laser sources using an in-house software. This will enable us to map the evoked response in different locations of the brain in response to different stimuli with high spatial resolution.
Mapping the extracellular neuronal activity in somatosensory cortex in response to stimulation in layer 5
We have designed a special perfusion chamber in which we have integrated an array of ultrasonic transducers for demonstrating the application of acousto-optic beam steering technique for targeting different parts of the brain.
The flexible and modular design of the microscope has also enabled us to route multiple laser lines in the top illumination as well as bottom illumination arrangements for performing ex vivo experiments using upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs).