Multi-photon nanosurgery in live brain

Year: 2010

Authors: Allegra Mascaro A.L., Sacconi L., Pavone F. S.

Autors Affiliation: European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
Department of Physics, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Abstract: In the last few years two-photon microscopy has been used to perform in vivo high spatial resolution imaging of neurons, glial cells and vascular structures in the intact neocortex. Recently, in parallel to its applications in imaging, multi-photon absorption has been used as a tool for the selective disruption of neural processes and blood vessels in living animals. In this review we present some basic features of multi-photon nanosurgery and we illustrate the advantages offered by this novel methodology in neuroscience research. We show how the spatial localization of multi-photon excitation can be exploited to perform selective lesions on cortical neurons in living mice expressing fluorescent proteins. This methodology is applied to disrupt a single neuron without causing any visible collateral damage to the surrounding structures. The spatial precision of this method allows to dissect single processes as well as individual dendritic spines, preserving the structural integrity of the main neuronal arbor. The same approach can be used to breach the blood-brain barrier through a targeted photo-disruption of blood vessels walls. We show how the vascular system can be perturbed through laser ablation leading toward two different models of stroke: intravascular clot and extravasation. Following the temporal evolution of the injured system (either a neuron or a blood vessel) through time lapse in vivo imaging, the physiological response of the target structure and the rearrangement of the surrounding area can be characterized. Multi-photon nanosurgery in live brain represents a useful tool to produce different models of neurodegenerative disease.


Volume: 2      Pages from: 21-1  to: 21-8

KeyWords: two-photon microscopy