Near-IR femtosecond light pulses for neuroscience

Meadowlark Optics has developed a Spatial Light Modulator to activate neurons in the brain. They used near-IR femtosecond light pulses from the aeroPULSE FS50.

In optogenetics, light induces neural activity in defined cell types expressing photo-sensitive microbial opsins that either generate or suppress neuronal activity.

To target neurons in the brain, Spatial Light Modulators (SLMs) are used to generate 3D holographic patterns of nearly diffraction-limited or soma-sized spots. To further understand perception, neuroscientists aim to replicate naturalistic patterns of neural activity, and Meadowlark Optics recently developed an SLM that allows for fast switching as well as a larger field of view.

The question was if the new SLM could withstand the high peak intensities from near-IR femtosecond lasers needed to stimulate a larger population of neurons. In this case study, Meadowlark stress-tested their new SLM using near-IR femtosecond light pulses from the aeroPULSE FS50.

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