Imaging calcium (Ca2+)-dependent neuronal activity with a head mounted miniaturized microscope is a revolutionary technique to study the brain in action. This incredible technology empowers neuroscientists across the world to decipher how hundreds of brain cells respond under healthy conditions and in diseased states. Since this method is relatively new and unique in its ability to allow scientists the opportunity to study the brain of a freely behaving animal; more educational resources are critically needed. For this reason, we felt it was important to give the neuroscience community a peer-reviewed, in-depth, how-to video resource that describes detailed, technical steps required to obtain live imaging of Ca2+-dependent neuronal activity across multiple layers of the cortex, while the animal actively engages with different objects in its environment.
At Inscopix, we recognize that scientific reproducibility is fundamental to answering key questions in any research field especially when your research involves intricate techniques and procedures. Successfully replicating the findings of a peer group is made easier when the information is presented in a visual manner and when the technical details are not left to one’s imagination.
Our JoVE protocol was produced with the intent to provide the neuroscience community a visual guide to show easy and quick steps one can take in order to ensure reliable and reproducible results with our miniaturized microscope system, nVista. The nVista and Mosaic platform for imaging and analyzing cellular and circuit level network dynamics, can facilitate and reduce your time to first images, and subsequent publication.
In order to make this JoVE resource particularly relevant, we ensured that the most difficult and critical steps in the surgical process were visually emphasized in the video protocol. We also made sure to include detailed written content that was essential to all the major sections of the protocol that were highlighted in the ~11 min JoVE video. It is an easy-to-follow video designed to improve the efficiency and success of your neural circuit research. Detailed descriptions of all the steps along with a complete list of parts and materials is provided to help researchers rapidly get up and running.
We hope this JoVE protocol will be a useful educational resource for anyone who wants to perform Ca2+ imaging in the cortex of freely behaving rodents. Reach out to us for further information. We look forward to hearing from you!