Technology | October 16, 2009

NeuroPak Deep Brain Imaging System Visualizes the Conscious Mind

VisualSonics Inc. introduced the NeuroPak Deep Brain Imaging System, a novel technology that provides pre-clinical neurology researchers with the capability to image biological and cellular processes in the brains of conscious animals.

It works with the Cellvizio LAB Imaging System, a miniature endoscopic fluorescence microscope, to allow users to repeatedly image a section of a small animal's brain, in real time while the animal is awake and moving freely.

While existing research tools limit access to near-surface imaging on sedated animals, Neuropak Imaging System allows researchers real time access to tissue, deep in the brain of a conscious animal, enabling researchers to determine how the brain reacts to different stimuli in real time.

The NeuroPak System uses a small implant in the skull of the mouse, placed over the area of interest in the brain, which allows repeated, reproducible insertion of the probe for imaging sessions which can be hours in duration. The CerboFlex Probe is a special fiber bundle probe designed to fit the implant that is very flexible and lightweight, thus the mouse is free to move around while the fiber probe is in place. The CellVizio LAB is capable of high resolution, real time imaging of fluorescent tissues, cells and markers at micron levels. Based on a robust, patented confocal technology which employs a high resolution fiber bundle, laser scanning unit and sensitive detector optics, the easy-to-use platform allows real-time imaging of microscopic biology inside a living animal.

"NeuroPak(TM) is the first commercially available means to simultaneously image and correlate cellular events in the intact central nervous system with the behavioral responses of laboratory mice," said David Bates, an Application Scientist at VisualSonics. "This imaging technology will enable groundbreaking research in a myriad of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, epilepsy and addiction."

The technique was developed as part of a research collaboration between scientists at Mauna Kea Technologies and the Institut Pasteur in Paris. VisualSonics is the exclusive global distributor for Mauna Kea Technologies pre-clinical imaging technologies, including the Cellvizio LAB In Vivo Fiberoptic Fluorescence Microscope, the NeuroPak Deep Brain Imaging System and the CerboFlex Deep Brain Imaging Probe.

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