Fiber-optic implant for simultaneous fluorescence-based calcium recordings and BOLD fMRI in mice

Nature Protocols
Felix SchlegelMarkus Rudin


Despite the growing popularity of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional MRI (fMRI), understanding of its underlying principles is still limited. This protocol describes a technique for simultaneous measurement of neural activity using fluorescent calcium indicators together with the corresponding hemodynamic BOLD fMRI response in the mouse brain. Our early work using small-molecule fluorophores in rats gave encouraging results but was limited to acute measurements using synthetic dyes. Our latest procedure combines fMRI with optical detection of cell-type-specific virally delivered GCaMP6, a genetically encoded calcium indicator (GECI). GCaMP6 fluorescence, which increases upon calcium binding, is collected by a chronically implanted optical fiber, allowing longitudinal studies in mice. The chronic implant, placed horizontally on the skull, has an angulated tip that reflects light into the brain and is connected via fiber optics to a remote optical setup. The technique allows access to the neocortex and does not require adaptations of commercial MRI hardware. The hybrid approach permits fiber-optic calcium recordings with simultaneous artifact-free BOLD fMRI with full brain coverage and 1-s temporal resolution using st...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Fiber Optic Microscopy
Fluorescent Dyes
Calcium [EPC]
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Longitudinal Studies

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