Adaptive Optical Two-Photon Microscopy for Surface-Profiled Living Biological Specimens.
ABSTRACT: We developed adaptive optical (AO) two-photon excitation microscopy by introducing a spatial light modulator (SLM) in a commercially available microscopy system. For correcting optical aberrations caused by refractive index (RI) interfaces at a specimen's surface, spatial phase distributions of the incident excitation laser light were calculated using 3D coordination of the RI interface with a 3D ray-tracing method. Based on the calculation, we applied a 2D phase-shift distribution to a SLM and achieved the proper point spread function. AO two-photon microscopy improved the fluorescence image contrast in optical phantom mimicking biological specimens. Furthermore, it enhanced the fluorescence intensity from tubulin-labeling dyes in living multicellular tumor spheroids and allowed successful visualization of dendritic spines in the cortical layer V of living mouse brains in the secondary motor region with a curved surface. The AO approach is useful for observing dynamic physiological activities in deep regions of various living biological specimens with curved surfaces.
Project description:In this paper, excitation light wavefront modulation is performed considering the curved sample surface shape to demonstrate high-quality deep observation using two-photon excitation microscopy (TPM) with a dry objective lens. A large spherical aberration typically occurs when the refractive index (RI) interface between air and the sample is a plane perpendicular to the optical axis. Moreover, the curved sample surface shape and the RI mismatch cause various aberrations, including spherical ones. Consequently, the fluorescence intensity and resolution of the obtained image are degraded in the deep regions. To improve them, we designed a pre-distortion wavefront for correcting the aberration caused by the curved sample surface shape by using a novel, simple optical path length difference calculation method. The excitation light wavefront is modulated to the pre-distortion wavefront by a spatial light modulator incorporated in the TPM system before passing through the interface, where the RI mismatch occurs. Thus, the excitation light is condensed without aberrations. Blood vessels were thereby observed up to an optical depth of 2,000 ?m in a cleared mouse brain by using a dry objective lens.
Project description:In vivo two-photon microscopy utilizing a nonlinear optical process enables, in living mouse brains, not only the visualization of morphologies and functions of neural networks in deep regions but also their optical manipulation at targeted sites with high spatial precision. Because the two-photon excitation efficiency is proportional to the square of the photon density of the excitation laser light at the focal position, optical aberrations induced by specimens mainly limit the maximum depth of observations or that of manipulations in the microscopy. To increase the two-photon excitation efficiency, we developed a method for evaluating the focal volume in living mouse brains. With this method, we modified the beam diameter of the excitation laser light and the value of the refractive index in the immersion liquid to maximize the excitation photon density at the focal position. These two modifications allowed the successful visualization of the finer structures of hippocampal CA1 neurons, as well as the intracellular calcium dynamics in cortical layer V astrocytes, even with our conventional two-photon microscopy system. Furthermore, it enabled focal laser ablation dissection of both single apical and single basal dendrites of cortical layer V pyramidal neurons. These simple modifications would enable us to investigate the contributions of single cells or single dendrites to the functions of local cortical networks.
Project description:In vivo fundus imaging offers non-invasive access to neuron structures and biochemical processes in the retina. However, optical aberrations of the eye degrade the imaging resolution and prevent visualization of subcellular retinal structures. We developed an adaptive optics two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy (AO-TPEFM) system to correct ocular aberrations based on a nonlinear fluorescent guide star and achieved subcellular resolution for in vivo fluorescence imaging of the mouse retina. With accurate wavefront sensing and rapid aberration correction, AO-TPEFM permits structural and functional imaging of the mouse retina with submicron resolution. Specifically, simultaneous functional calcium imaging of neuronal somas and dendrites was demonstrated. Moreover, the time-lapse morphological alteration and dynamics of microglia were characterized in a mouse model of retinal disorder. In addition, precise laser axotomy was achieved, and degeneration of retinal nerve fibres was studied. This high-resolution AO-TPEFM is a promising tool for non-invasive retinal imaging and can facilitate the understanding of a variety of eye diseases as well as neurodegenerative disorders in the central nervous system.
Project description:Microscopes using non-linear excitation of chromophores with pulsed near-IR light can generate highly localized foci of molecules in the electronic singlet state that are concentrated in volumes of less than one femtoliter. The three-dimensional confinement of excitation arises from the simultaneous absorption of two IR photons of approximately half the energy required for linear excitation. Two-photon microscopy is especially useful for two types of interrogation of neural processes. First, uncaging of signaling molecules such as glutamate, as stimulation is so refined it can be used to mimic normal unitary synaptic levels. In addition, uncaging allows complete control of the timing and position of stimulation, so the two-photon light beam provides the chemical neuroscientist with an "optical conductor's baton" which can command synaptic activity at will. A second powerful feature of two-photon microscopy is that when used for fluorescence imaging it enables the visualization of cellular structure and function in living animals at depths far beyond that possible with normal confocal microscopes. In this review I provide a survey of the many important applications of two-photon microscopy in these two fields of neuroscience, and suggest some areas for future technical development.
Project description:Fluorescent probes are one of the most popularly used bioimaging markers to monitor metabolic processes of living cells. However, long-term light excitation always leads to photobleaching of fluorescent probes, unavoidable autofluorescence as well as photodamage of cells. To overcome these limitations, we synthesized a type of photostable luminogen named TPE-TPP with an aggregation induced emission (AIE) characteristic, and achieved its three-photon imaging with femtosecond laser excitation of 1020?nm. By using TPE-TPP as fluorescent probes, three-photon microscopy under 1020?nm excitation showed little photo-damage, as well as low autofluorescence to HeLa cells. Due to the AIE effect, the TPE-TPP nanoaggregates uptaken by cells were resistant to photobleaching under three-photon excitation for an extended period of time. Furthermore, we demonstrated that for the present TPE-TPP AIE the three-photon microscopy (with 1020?nm excitation) had a better signal to noise ratio than the two-photon microscopy (with 810?nm excitation) in tissue imaging.
Project description:Two-photon excitation microscopy is one of the key techniques used to observe three-dimensional (3-D) structures in biological samples. We utilized a visible-wavelength laser beam for two-photon excitation in a multifocus confocal scanning system to improve the spatial resolution and image contrast in 3-D live-cell imaging. Experimental and numerical analyses revealed that the axial resolution has improved for a wide range of pinhole sizes used for confocal detection. We observed the 3-D movements of the Golgi bodies in living HeLa cells with an imaging speed of 2 s per volume. We also confirmed that the time-lapse observation up to 8 min did not cause significant cell damage in two-photon excitation experiments using wavelengths in the visible light range. These results demonstrate that multifocus, two-photon excitation microscopy with the use of a visible wavelength can constitute a simple technique for 3-D visualization of living cells with high spatial resolution and image contrast.
Project description:As optical reporters and modulators of cellular activity have become increasingly sophisticated, the amount that can be learned about the brain via high-speed cellular imaging has increased dramatically. However, despite fervent innovation, point-scanning microscopy is facing a fundamental limit in achievable 3D imaging speeds and fields of view. A range of alternative approaches are emerging, some of which are moving away from point-scanning to use axially-extended beams or sheets of light, for example swept confocally aligned planar excitation (SCAPE) microscopy. These methods are proving effective for high-speed volumetric imaging of the nervous system of small organisms such as Drosophila (fruit fly) and D. Rerio (Zebrafish), and are showing promise for imaging activity in the living mammalian brain using both single and two-photon excitation. This article describes these approaches and presents a simple model that demonstrates key advantages of axially-extended illumination over point-scanning strategies for high-speed volumetric imaging, including longer integration times per voxel, improved photon efficiency and reduced photodamage.
Project description:Many cellular structures and organelles are too small to be properly resolved by conventional light microscopy. This is particularly true for dendritic spines and glial processes, which are very small, dynamic, and embedded in dense tissue, making it difficult to image them under realistic experimental conditions. Two-photon microscopy is currently the method of choice for imaging in thick living tissue preparations, both in acute brain slices and in vivo. However, the spatial resolution of a two-photon microscope, which is limited to ~350 nm by the diffraction of light, is not sufficient for resolving many important details of neural morphology, such as the width of spine necks or thin glial processes. Recently developed superresolution approaches, such as stimulated emission depletion microscopy, have set new standards of optical resolution in imaging living tissue. However, the important goal of superresolution imaging with significant subdiffraction resolution has not yet been accomplished in acute brain slices. To overcome this limitation, we have developed a new microscope based on two-photon excitation and pulsed stimulated emission depletion microscopy, which provides unprecedented spatial resolution and excellent experimental access in acute brain slices using a long-working distance objective. The new microscope improves on the spatial resolution of a regular two-photon microscope by a factor of four to six, and it is compatible with time-lapse and simultaneous two-color superresolution imaging in living cells. We demonstrate the potential of this nanoscopy approach for brain slice physiology by imaging the morphology of dendritic spines and microglial cells well below the surface of acute brain slices.
Project description:High speed imaging is pre-requisite for monitoring of dynamic processes in biological events. Here we report the development of a unique spatial light-modulated stimulated Raman scattering (SLM-SRS) microscopy that tailors the broadband excitation beam with sparse-sampling masks designed for rapid multiplexed vibrational imaging to monitor real-time cancer treatment effects and in vivo transport of drug solvent. Methods: We design an optimal mask pattern that enables selection of predominant windows in SRS spectrum for collective excitation at the highest possible peak power, thus providing an improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) without compromise of chemical specificity. The mask pattern generated is applied to the broad excitation beam using a flexible spatial light modulator. The SLM module further offers complementary function whereby rapid scanning of SRS spectrum can be facilitated prior to the mask generation, thereby making the SLM-SRS system a stand-alone imaging platform. Results: We demonstrate that SLM-SRS microscopy permits rapid multiplexed SRS imaging of polystyrene and polymethyl methacrylate beads in Brownian motion in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at 70 ms intervals without motion artiacts. We further apply SLM-SRS to monitor the therapeautic effect of mild alkaline solution on cancer cells, which shows immediate apoptotic response. Finally, we visualize in vivo penetration of DMSO into the plant tissue and evaluate acute toxicity of DMSO on cellulose and proteins within the tissue. Conclusion: We develop novel SLM-SRS microscopy and affirm its broad applicability for rapid monitoring of dynamic biological processes at the subcellular and molecular level.
Project description:A key challenge when imaging living cells is how to noninvasively extract the most spatiotemporal information possible. Unlike popular wide-field and confocal methods, plane-illumination microscopy limits excitation to the information-rich vicinity of the focal plane, providing effective optical sectioning and high speed while minimizing out-of-focus background and premature photobleaching. Here we used scanned Bessel beams in conjunction with structured illumination and/or two-photon excitation to create thinner light sheets (<0.5 ?m) better suited to three-dimensional (3D) subcellular imaging. As demonstrated by imaging the dynamics of mitochondria, filopodia, membrane ruffles, intracellular vesicles and mitotic chromosomes in live cells, the microscope currently offers 3D isotropic resolution down to ?0.3 ?m, speeds up to nearly 200 image planes per second and the ability to noninvasively acquire hundreds of 3D data volumes from single living cells encompassing tens of thousands of image frames.