Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Time-Lapse Movie Shot Inside the Brain - Technology Review

A Time-Lapse Movie Shot Inside the Brain - Technology Review: In the new study, published online this month in Nature Medicine, researchers demonstrate that they can use the micro-endoscope to observe the same spot in the brain over time. They first implant a glass guide tube into an animal's brain, placing it just above the area of interest, with a tiny microscope slide covering its tip. They can then insert the micro-endoscope into the tube, taking pictures of the cells using a standard two-photon microscope. After imaging, "you can pull the microneedle out, return the animal to its cage, then reinsert it [days or weeks] later and look again," says Schnitzer.

Elly Nedivi, associate professor of neurobiology at MIT, says that being able to return to the same spot again and again may be one of the most important applications of the micro-endoscope. "You could use it to see if drugs are having an effect, such as whether a tumor is responding to treatment," she says.

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