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Blog – NeuroTech Today

NeuroTech Today Blog is a great resource for neuroscientists. The articles we post include new technology and techniques related to the fields of microscopy, electrophysiology, and drug application, but applied to the neuroscience laboratory. With every 50 subscribers we will be giving away Apple/Amazon vouchers so make sure you subscribe today as you could be one of the lucky winners! If you would like to subscribe to NeuroTech Today, please fill in the form at the bottom of this page. 

MAPseq: The New Brain Mapping Kid on the Block

MAPseq: The New Brain Mapping Kid on the Block

Like many Neurophysiologists, Professor Tony Zador of Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory found himself frustrated with our limited ability to accurately map neuron projections in the brain. Although traditional fluorescence microscopy has advanced the field significantly, it is limited in how few neurons can be tagged simultaneously, its resolution and the ability to image large areas

TReND in Africa Workshop Visit

TReND in Africa Workshop Visit

Photo by Agnieszka Pokrywka   Last week, MCI Neuroscience paid a visit to the TReND in Africa (“TReND”) workshop taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. TReND (www.TReNDinAfrica.org) is an NGO run by an international network of research scientists. It aims to increase scientific development and collaboration in Africa. They achieve this through educational workshops, equipment

Fundamentals Series: Deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals. Part 3:  Optical Fiberscope

Fundamentals Series: Deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals. Part 3: Optical Fiberscope

One of the central questions in neuroscience is how neural activity creates diverse brain functions and resultant behaviours. To answer this question, neural activity must be recorded during behaviour, to establish its causal role. This is covered in more detail in the first chapter of this Fundamentals series. Each subsequent chapter will focus on a

Fundamentals Series: Deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals. Part 2:  Fiber photometry

Fundamentals Series: Deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals. Part 2: Fiber photometry

The first chapter in our Fundamentals Series on deep-tissue imaging referred to the importance of recording from behaving animals and discussed the typical challenges involved with this. Upcoming chapters will focus on specific methods. We intend to, very briefly: Introduce the basic principles behind the method List some of its main benefits and restrictions (with

Research Summary: Alzheimer’s Disease Successfully Reversed in Mice

Research Summary: Alzheimer’s Disease Successfully Reversed in Mice

A study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine has sparked excitement for its breakthrough revelations about Alzheimer’s Disease treatment. This study, led by Riqiang Yan, is significant as being the first which shows complete reversal of amyloid plaque formation and almost complete restoration of function in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. BACE1 (aka

Research Summary: Table Comparing Voltage Indicators – Nature Paper

Research Summary: Table Comparing Voltage Indicators – Nature Paper

In the supplementary section of the impressive paper “A robotic multidimensional directed evolution approach applied to fluorescent voltage reporters” by Kiryl Piatkevich et al., the authors put together a very handy overview table of the characteristics of genetically encoded fluorescent voltage reporters – an extract can be found in the PDF below: VSD comparison table  

Fundamentals Series: Deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals – An Introduction

Fundamentals Series: Deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals – An Introduction

In Vivo Multi-photon images, GCaMP6 in mouse hippocampus, using the MCI Pryer Endoscopic lens   Fundamentals Series: Deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals – An Introduction Our next topic of the Fundamentals series will focus on a field with many exciting recent advances: deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals. We will

Integration of electrophysiological recordings with single-cell RNA-sequencing

Integration of electrophysiological recordings with single-cell RNA-sequencing

Introduction The brain is comprised of a famously diverse menagerie of specialised cell types, enabling highly refined electrophysiological behaviour, as well as fulfilling brain nutrient needs and defence against pathogens. Functional specialization allows fine-tuning of circuit dynamics and decoupling of support functions such as energy supply, waste removal, and immune defence. Cells in the nervous

An Electrophysiological Set-up Compatible with Magnetic Neural Stimulation

An Electrophysiological Set-up Compatible with Magnetic Neural Stimulation

Abstract Despite rising interest in remote magnetic neural stimulation techniques, there are questions concerning their mechanisms and effects on neuronal activities such as changes in action potential thresholds. Electrophysiological measurement which is the gold standard to understand ion channel activities can be used to validate and verify the effectiveness of magnetic neural modulation methods. However,

Deep-brain stimulation – Now noninvasively

Deep-brain stimulation – Now noninvasively

Deep brain stimulation is a neurosurgical approach that requires implanting of electrodes in the brain, as a means to treat neurological conditions. The implanted battery-operated neurostimulator will block electrical signals from certain target areas in the brain, which most commonly include the subthalamic nucleus and the globus pallidus interna. Even though deep brain stimulation is

Neuroinflammation: Are Cannabinoids the Cure?

Neuroinflammation: Are Cannabinoids the Cure?

Introduction Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, is a product of the Cannabis sativa plant and the active compounds from this plant are collectively referred to as cannabinoids (CBs). Studies to date indicate that the main pharmacological function of the cannabinoid system is in neuromodulation: controlling motor functions, cognition, emotional responses, homeostasis and motivation. However, in

Fundamentals Series:  Micromanipulators Part 2

Fundamentals Series: Micromanipulators Part 2

Our Fundamentals Series of articles will endeavour to discuss basic concepts related to tools, techniques and technology, primarily focused on the neurosciences. Functional Movement terminology and concepts relevant to micromanipulators This is the second chapter on the first topic in our Fundamentals Series. The Micromanipulators topic comprises of three informative chapters, which started with an overview of

MCI at the Cambridge Neuroscience Symposium 2017 #NNHD2017

MCI at the Cambridge Neuroscience Symposium 2017 #NNHD2017

Cambridge University’s popular bi-annual Cambridge Neuroscience Symposium- Neural Networks in Health and Disease took place on the 7th and 8th of September 2017 at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge. In summary, this symposium outlined technological developments and data analysis methodologies that have enabled us to study neural networks and circuits at an unprecedented level of

MCI Pryer Endoscopic Objective: An Introduction

MCI Pryer Endoscopic Objective: An Introduction

In recent years, fluorescence imaging techniques have become central to the study of live neurons. Unfortunately, high-resolution fluorescence imaging studies of neurons remain largely confined to in vitro preparations of cultured cells or tissue slices (Yuste et al. 2000), because of the experimental difficulties in accessing many neuron types in vivo. These difficulties mainly involve

China set to ‘industrialise’ brain mapping

China set to ‘industrialise’ brain mapping

High volume, high throughput and high-speed mapping of the brain Brain mapping projects have been around for a while and new global initiatives are seen as a way to take these ideas to a new level. Indeed, at a United Nations’ General Assembly meeting in New York City in 2016, Thomas Shannon, the US Under

The 100 € lab

The 100 € lab

At the current exchange rate 100 € is equivalent to 90 British pounds or 119 US dollars. The next thing you then ask is what can I buy for this sort of money? The answer is not a lot, but the good news is you can build a lab for this. Yes, that’s right! With

Summary of MCIs attendance at Japanese Neuroscience, 2017

Summary of MCIs attendance at Japanese Neuroscience, 2017

Neuroscience 2017, the 40th Annual Meeting of the Japan Neuroscience Society, was held at Makuhari Messe, Chiba, over a three-and-a-half-day period from July 20 to July 23, 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together researchers from around the world to share the latest studies in neuroscience. This exciting event is filled with

PhD and Post Doc competition!

PhD and Post Doc competition!

For the next twelve months, we will be running a blog article writing competition aimed at PhD students and Post Docs who have a particular interest in technology and techniques in the neurophysiology lab.  We have monthly and annual prizes up for grabs, plus the opportunity to get wider exposure for your writing.   Read below

Optical Imaging and Electrophysiological Recording in Neuroscience Workshop

Optical Imaging and Electrophysiological Recording in Neuroscience Workshop

Eighteen students recently met in Paris for two weeks to participate in this year’s Optical Imaging and Electrophysiological Recording in Neuroscience Workshop. Expert lecturers and demonstrators from across Europe were invited to present a dense timetable (see below), consisting of lectures and practical hands-on sessions and demonstrations. All topics were focused on techniques and technology

Two-photon mini microscope

Two-photon mini microscope

New two-photon miniaturised microscope enables visualization of brain neurons in freely-moving and behaving animals At this year’s meeting of Optics in the Life Sciences there was one abstract that simply stated ‘We have developed a fast, high-resolution, miniaturised two-photon microscope (FHIRM-TPM) with a headpiece weighing 2.15 g. It is capable of hour-long recording of

Neuroeconomics

Neuroeconomics

Introduction Neuroeconomics is the study of the neural mechanisms and computational basis of value-based decision-making and their economic significance (Figure 1). Value-based decision-making occurs whenever an organism makes a choice from several alternatives based on the subjective value that it places on them 1 2. Examples include basic animal behaviours such as foraging, and complicated

Neuroscience has changed and is set to continue to do so

Neuroscience has changed and is set to continue to do so

A recent retrospective study reports that the landscape of neuroscience research has changed in terms of research topics, research journals and countries where the research has been conducted. The findings from this study are discussed below and considered important as, ‘it enables stakeholders to quickly identify the most influential research and incorporate latest evidence into

Tech Overview: Neuroprosthetics Part 2

Tech Overview: Neuroprosthetics Part 2

Introduction Implantable neural interfaces have achieved remarkable medical advances in the treatment of the most challenging conditions, starting with the introduction of the first implantable pacemaker in 1958. Increasing demand for innovation in existing and novel implantable devices is fuelled by the growing ageing population and the increased prevalence of chronic diseases. Chapter I provided

News Feed – fNIRS Brain Computer Interface provides potential avenue to communicate with Complete Locked-in State Patients

News Feed – fNIRS Brain Computer Interface provides potential avenue to communicate with Complete Locked-in State Patients

Complete Locked-In State (CLIS) is characterized by a person’s deterioration of all motor functions, but the retention of psychological and emotional capabilities. Traditional methods of attempted communication with people that have CLIS usually involves a variety of brain computer interface techniques. Some of these techniques have involved invasive measures such as implanted electrodes, while others

Fundamentals Series: Micromanipulators Part 1

Fundamentals Series: Micromanipulators Part 1

Our Fundamentals Series of articles will endeavour to discuss basic concepts related to tools, techniques and technology, primarily focused on the neurosciences. Key factors to consider when investing in a new micromanipulator This is the first topic in Our Fundamentals Series. It consists of three informative chapters, with the first offering an overview of several

Tech Overview: Neuroprosthetics Part 1

Tech Overview: Neuroprosthetics Part 1

Introduction – Therapeutic Potential Since the 1960s, neural interfaces have been used to record neural activity or stimulate neural tissue in humans and animals 1. Millions of people worldwide are affected by neurological disorders which disrupt connections within the brain and between brain and body causing impairments of primary functions and paralysis. Such a number

Near-infrared fluorophores for Neuroscience research and engineering

Near-infrared fluorophores for Neuroscience research and engineering

Introduction Despite the advent of recent imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasound scanners, imaging of deep tissues has been difficult due to poor photon penetration. In mammalian tissues, which is opaque to light in the visible spectrum (400-700nm), traditional imaging has increasing photon scattering

Research Summary – Overeating and Alcohol Consumption

Research Summary – Overeating and Alcohol Consumption

Very interesting Nature Communications article by our soon-to-be colleague, Craig Blomeley, and his collaborators, linking alcohol consumption with overeating in humans. Great timing on this topic for the festive season too! But a bit more about the research done for this publication: The mechanisms are unclear, and have been proposed to involve intoxication-induced disregard of

New technology: Efficient real time brain spike detection

New technology: Efficient real time brain spike detection

A team of researchers headed by those at the University of Southampton have recently demonstrated a new way to encode and compress neuronal spiking activity in real time. Besides its implications of finding efficient links between biology and electronics, the Southampton team hopes that this research will lead to a new type of autonomous neuroprosthetic

Workshop Glimpse: Currently available technologies for optogenetics activation – in vivo and in vitro

Workshop Glimpse: Currently available technologies for optogenetics activation – in vivo and in vitro

Last week, Micro Control Instruments were privileged to have visited several universities to host a workshop with the central theme of “Currently available technologies for optogenetics activation – in vivo and in vitro”. We had four workshop sessions every day, with the sessions being kept interactive by having only one or two labs represented during each session. 

News Feed: Ultrasonic Neuromodulation

News Feed: Ultrasonic Neuromodulation

A recently published review “Ultrasonic Neuromodulation” in the Journal of Neural Engineering, discusses the history of the physics, engineering and research of ultrasonic waves and its effects on neural activity. The use of ultrasonic waves for neuromodulation is a lesser known and applied technique, although research on this topic dates back to 1929. This review

News Feed: Neural Dust – Sensing electrical activity with ultrasound-powered implants

News Feed: Neural Dust – Sensing electrical activity with ultrasound-powered implants

Researchers from University of California, Berkeley, have just published a methods paper in Neuron (Dongjin Seo et al. Wireless Recording in the Peripheral Nervous System with Ultrasonic Neural Dust. Neuron, August 2016) describing the the function of and experiments conducted with a millimeter scale, surgically implanted sensor for picking up electrical activity from rat muscle

Symposium Glimpse: New Frontiers in Optical Microscopy

Symposium Glimpse: New Frontiers in Optical Microscopy

  As a special edition of our Neuroscience Tech Update, we’d like to occasionally share a short summary of interesting technical symposia and conference talks with our readers. King’s College London recently hosted a Crick symposium on the topic “New Frontiers in Optical Microscopy”. Dr. Craig Blomeley, from the NIMR Mill Hill , attended the

10 Mind-Extending Apps for the Neuroscientist

10 Mind-Extending Apps for the Neuroscientist

Most of us have probably not given much thought to smart use of smartphones in the neuroscience lab. How can your Android or iPhone device earn its keep in the dark confines of the microscopy or patch clamp room instead of only being a distraction?

In Vitro Optogenetics Light Delivery Systems

In Vitro Optogenetics Light Delivery Systems

Following on our recent blog post “5 Considerations for selecting the best optogenetics light source to boost your project“, we’ll compare some of the most popular light delivery solutions for in vitro optogenetics activation here, based on the 5 considerations in our recent post. We are proud to be the neuroscience-focused distribution partner for the

5 Essential Considerations For Selecting The Best Optogenetics Light Source To Boost Your Project

5 Essential Considerations For Selecting The Best Optogenetics Light Source To Boost Your Project

Light delivery system requirements for optogenetic activation in vitro. Significant technological and scientific breakthroughs are often the trigger for complimentary developments, making the initial pioneering work even more impactful. Optogenetics seem to be no exception to the tendency, with many more opsin variants and chimeric proteins being developed as well as significant improvements in experimental

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