Beijing, 24 Feb. Peking University researchers have developed a miniature three-photon microscope capable of imaging the deep brain of freely moving mice.

The new instrument, which weighs just 2.17 grams, is considered a breakthrough in multiphoton microscopy, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported today.

The microscope was able to capture stable images of the cerebral cortex and hippocampal neurons of moving rodents.

The study on this new microscope was published Friday by the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Methods and is seen as showing promise for unlocking the mysteries of the human brain.

Getting to map the connectivity and functional dynamics of the billions of neurons and trillions of synapses in the human brain has been one of the main goals of scientists when studying the organ.

A team led by Cheng Heping, director of Peking University’s National Center for Biomedical Imaging, has been working on developing these devices for years.

The researchers developed their first two-photon microscope in 2017, but after four years they magnified the imaging field by 7.8 times and captured “three-dimensional images of functional signals from neurons in the cerebral cortex,” Cheng said. .

The new microscope penetrated the entire cerebral cortex and corpus callosum of mice, where it imaged calcium activity in the hippocampus to a depth of 1.2 millimeters.

The study of technologies to stimulate the brain, initially through surgical implants, began half a century ago, although by the turn of the millennium it had led to less invasive methods, similar to electroencephalograms, and computer models. EFE


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