All-optical assay to study biological neural networks

Wardiya Afshar Saber, Federico M. Gasparoli, Marjet Gabrielle Dirks, Frank J. Gunn-Moore, Maciej Antkowiak

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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We introduce a novel all-optical assay for functional studies of biological neural networks in vitro. We created a novel optogenetics construct named OptoCaMP which is a combination of a channelrhodopsin variant (CheRiff) and a red genetically encoded calcium indicator (jRCamp1b). It enables simultaneous optical stimulation and recording from large population of neurons with single-cell readout. We also developed a spatio-temporal all-optical assay to simultaneously stimulate a sub-section of a neural network and record evoked calcium activity, in both stimulated and non-stimulated neurons, thus allowing the investigation of the spread of excitation through an interconnected network. Finally, we demonstrate the sensitivity of this assay to the change of neural network connectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number451
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2018


  • All-optical assay
  • Optogenetics
  • Calcium imaging
  • Neural networks
  • Connectivity
  • Neurons
  • Lentiviral transduction


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