Neuroscience applications benefit from recent developments in industrial femtosecond laser technology. New laser sources provide several megawatts of peak power at wavelength of 1040 nm, which enables simultaneous optogenetics photoactivation of tens or even hundreds of neurons using red shifted opsins. Another recent imaging trend is to move towards longer wavelengths, which would enable access to deeper layers of tissue due to lower scattering and lower absorption in the tissue. Femtosecond lasers pumping a non-collinear optical parametric amplifier (NOPA) enable the access to longer wavelengths with high peak powers. High peak powers of >10 MW at 1300 nm and 1700 nm allow effective 3-photon excitation of green and red shifted calcium indicators respectively and access to deeper, sub-cortex layers of the brain. Early results include in vivo detection of spontaneous activity in hippocampus within an intact mouse brain, where neurons express GCaMP6 activated in a 3-photon process at 1320 nm.
T. Hakulinen and J. Klein, "Neuroscience imaging enabled by new highly tunable and high peak power femtosecond lasers," Proc. SPIE 10069, Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences XVII, 100690D (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 21 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2250407.
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