Wide-Field Single-Photon Optical Recording in Brain Slices Using Voltage-Sensitive Dye

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

Wide-field single photon voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging of brain slice preparations is a useful tool to assess the functional connectivity in neural circuits. Due to the fractional change in the light signal, it has been difficult to use this method as a quantitative assay. This article describes special optics and slice handling systems, which render this technique stable and reliable. The present article demonstrates the slice handling, staining, and recording of the VSD-stained hippocampal slices in detail. The system maintains physiological conditions for a long time, with good staining, and prevents mechanical movements of the slice during the recordings. Moreover, it enables staining of slices with a small amount of the dye. The optics achieve high numerical aperture at low magnification, which allows recording of the VSD signal at the maximum frame rate of 10 kHz, with 100 × 100-pixel spatial resolution. Due to the high frame rate and spatial resolution, this technique allows application of the post-recording filters that provide sufficient signal-to-noise ratio to assess the changes in neural circuits.