Chronically monitoring cerebral activities in awake and freely moving status is very important in physiological and pathological studies. We present a novel standalone micro-imager for monitoring the cerebral blood flow (CBF) and total hemoglobin (HbT) activities in freely moving animals using the laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) and optical intrinsic signal (OIS) methods. A new cranial window method, using contact lens and wide field optics, is also proposed to achieve the chronic and wide-field imaging of rat’s cerebral cortex. The hemodynamic activities of rats’ cortex were measured for the first time without restriction of cables or fibers in awake and behaving animals. Chronic imaging showed the increase of CBF and HbT in motor cortex when the rats were climbing on the cage wall. Interestingly, the CBF activation of supplying vessel was smaller than that of parenchyma. Furthermore, after the climbing, CBF demonstrated fully return to the baseline while HbT showed a delayed recovery. The standalone micro-imager technology provides new possibilities of brain imaging in cognitive neuroscience studies.
- Functional monitoring and imaging
- Imaging systems
- Medical and biological imaging
- Speckle imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics