Z. Zhang, L. Cong, L. Bai, and K. Wang, “Light-field microscopy for fast volumetric brain imaging,” Journal of Neuroscience Methods 352, 109083 (2021)
Researchers of the Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology (Shanghai) have published this interesting paper in which a review of techniques for volumetric brain imaging is made.
Recording neural activities over large populations are critical for a better understanding of the functional mechanisms of animal brains. In this sense, the authors review different inspection techniques starting from those based on 3D scannings, like two-photon microscopy, which has the problem of low process speed and high light density. Another possibility, based on parallelizing the imaging process, is light-sheet microscopy which still has the problem requiring axial scanning.
Confocal LFM (Zhang et al., 2020). MIPs over time of representative planes in reconstructed volumes in larval zebrafish brain (HuC: GCaMP6s). Scale bars, 50 μm.
In author’s opinion, lightfield microscopy (LFM) solves these problems elegantly by recording both the direction and location of light rays and achieving scanning-free and instantaneous volumetric imaging with a single camera exposure. However, this is made at the cost of a poor spatial resolution. But this drawback is overcome with the Fourier lightfield (FLFM) configuration, which shows substantially enhanced performance compared to that of conventional LFMs, including a lack of reconstruction artifacts near the focal plane, improved 3D reconstruction performance, and significantly reduced computational cost.
The paper finishes by collecting the results of LFM and FLFM when applied to brain images of different animals, like drosophila, zebrafish, or mouse. These results confirm the great utility of Fourier lightfield microscopy for brain imaging.
Commented by Dr. Manuel Martínez