Noncontact and nondestructive identification of neural circuits with a femtosecond laser

Xiuli Liu; Xiaohua Lv; Shaoqun Zeng; Wei Zhou; Qingming Luo
February 2009
Applied Physics Letters;2/9/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 6, pN.PAG
Academic Journal
Identifying neuronal connections is regarded as essential in understanding the structure and functions of neural circuits. However, the issue is difficult to resolve. Due to its ultrahigh peak power, the femtosecond laser was used to stimulate neuron circuits in this study. Our results showed that optical stimulation of one neuron triggered significant calcium responses in the neighboring neurons. According to the responses, neural connections were estimated and the functional topology of the neural circuit was mapped. The optical identification of neural connections proved to be noncontact, nondestructive, and highly reproducible, which would enable characterizing the dynamics of neural circuits.


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