High-fidelity multimode fibre-based endoscopy for deep brain in vivo imaging
in: Light-Science & Applications (2018)
Progress in neuroscience relies on new techniques for investigating the complex dynamics of neuronal networks. An ongoing challenge is to achieve minimally invasive and high-resolution observations of neuronal activity in vivo inside deep brain areas. Recently introduced methods for holographic control of light propagation in complex media enable the use of a hair-thin multimode optical fibre as an ultranarrow imaging tool. Compared to endoscopes based on graded-index lenses or fibre bundles, this new approach offers a footprint reduction exceeding an order of magnitude, combined with a significant enhancement in resolution. We designed a compact and high-speed system for fluorescent imaging at the tip of a fibre, achieving a resolution of 1.18 ± 0.04 μm across a 50-μm field of view, yielding 7-kilopixel images at a rate of 3.5 frames/s. Furthermore, we demonstrate in vivo observations of cell bodies and processes of inhibitory neurons within deep layers of the visual cortex and hippocampus of anaesthetised mice. This study paves the way for modern microscopy to be applied deep inside tissues of living animal models while exerting a minimal impact on their structural and functional properties.