Infrared neural stimulation (INS) provides optical control of neural excitability using near to mid-infrared (mid-IR) light, which allows for spatially selective, artifact-free excitation without the introduction of exogenous agents or genetic modification. Although neural excitability is mediated by a transient temperature increase due to water absorption of IR energy, the molecular nature of IR excitability in neural tissue remains unknown. Current research suggests that transient changes in local tissue temperature give rise to a myriad of cellular responses that have been individually attributed to IR mediated excitability. To further elucidate the underlying biophysical mechanisms, we have begun work towards employing a novel multimodal nonlinear imaging platform to probe the molecular underpinnings of INS. Our imaging system performs coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS), stimulated Raman scattering (SRS), two-photon excitation fluorescence (TPEF), second-harmonic generation (SHG) and thermal imaging into a single platform that allows for unprecedented co-registration of thermal and biochemical information in real-time. Here, we present our work leveraging CARS and SRS in acute thalamocortical brain slice preparations. We observe the evolution of lipid and protein-specific Raman bands during INS and electrically evoked activity in real-time. Combined with two-photon fluorescence and second harmonic generation, we offer insight to cellular metabolism and membrane dynamics during INS. Thermal imaging allows for the coregistration of acquired biochemical information with temperature information. Our work previews the versatility and capabilities of coherent Raman imaging combined with multiphoton imaging to observe biophysical phenomena for neuroscience applications.
Wilson R. Adams and Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, "Exploring infrared neural stimulation with multimodal nonlinear imaging (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10051, Neural Imaging and Sensing, 100510U (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2256695.5371358605001.
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