SPIE Photonics West Course: Neurophotonics

Service Detail from SPIE - Education

Monday 30 January 2017
1:30 PM - 5:30 PM
San Francisco, California, United States

The brain is the most widely studied body organ, and yet our understanding of its operation and the connection between changes to the physiology and the progression of disease is quite limited. Modern imaging tools, including optical imaging techniques, have enabled the study of many neural diseases and conditions and have assisted in evaluating the effect of drugs in model animal pre-clinical studies and in medical diagnosis. This course will review the principles and major optical techniques used for optical brain imaging. We will review the main cellular types in the brain and the organization of the anatomical regions into functional units. We will compare the major optical techniques used in brain imaging and discuss the contrast mechanisms that are used in each technique. We will review the use of external markers (mainly fluorescent markers), compare them to optical imaging techniques that use intrinsic contrast mechanisms (scattering, absorption, coherence, auto-fluorescence), and give examples in functional imaging of blood flow, oxygen levels, and neuronal activity. New methods using genetic introduction of proteins to control brain activity (Optogenetics) and selectively label cells will be described. Finally, we will discuss, with the help of examples, the relevance of these optical techniques in pre-clinical studies and clinical diagnosis.

Learning Outcomes

  • be familiar with the major cellular components and functional areas of the brain
  • compare optical imaging to other common techniques for brain imaging applications
  • learn about the most common optical techniques used for anatomical and functional evaluation of the brain, and to identify major attributes of each technique including the contrast mechanism, use of external markers (dyes), temporal and lateral resolution, and penetration depth into the tissue
  • explain how intrinsic optical techniques (OCT, Raman, Speckle contrast, IOSI) work and evaluate their use in optical brain imaging
  • describe the use of these optical imaging techniques in evaluating functional brain information including blood flow, oxygen consumption, and neural activity
  • summarize the use of proteins as fluorescent markers and for Optogenetic optical brain stimulation
  • list common applications of optical techniques in pre-clinical animal studies and clinical applications