In vivo Brain Imaging

Rodent in vivo Brain Imaging unit is part of the Helsinki In Vivo Animal Imaging Platform (HAIP), one of the life science research infrastructures of HiLIFE (Helsinki Institute of Life Science). The unit provides cutting-edge approaches and services for optical imaging of the brain in both anesthetized and awake behaving mice. These approaches allow a unique combination of molecular, cellular, behavioral and circuit-level neuroscience research.

Reservations via 

In vivo brain imaging

These high-precision imaging techniques can be combined with behavioral tasks in an awake behaving mouse head-fixed using Mobile HomeCage (Neurotar), an air-lifted floating platform that resembles a home-cage familiar to laboratory mice.

Two-photon microscopy

Two-photon microscopy is a unique microscopic imaging technique that allows live imaging of fluorescent signals in the cortical regions of the brain (down to 850 µm from the surface of the cranial window) non-invasively, with a high temporal and spatial resolution. When applied to head-fixed behaving mice, two-photon microscopy can be used to study brain structure and signaling simultaneously with sensory stimulation and behavioral readouts.

Device: Femtonics Femto-Smart (head-fixed awake or anesthetized mice).

Intrinsic Optical Imaging

Intrinsic signal optical imaging (ISOI) measures cortical reflectance change due to hemodynamic changes in the brain. ISOI can be used to record neural activity indirectly and noninvasively, without expression of fluorescent reporters. ISOI is typically used to map the functional architecture of the cortex.

Device: IOS (head-fixed anesthetized mice)

Wide-field Imaging

Multi-channel wide-field optical imaging can be used for cortex-wide imaging of the brain in anaesthetised or awake  head-fixed mice. Optical BOLD (blood oxygenation level-dependent) signal can be recorded simultaneously with fluorescence imaging.

Device: Neurotar Invigilo (head-fixed awake or anesthetized mice)

Miniscope imaging of deep brain structures

Miniaturized head-mounted microscope allows imaging of fluorescent signals in deep brain structures with single cell resolution in freely behaving rodents. Combined optogenetic manipulation can be used to causally link neural activity within defined brain circuits to behavior. The essence of optogenetics is introducing light-activated recombinant ion channels such as channelrhodopsin (ChR2) or halorhodopsin (NpHR) into excitable cells. Light activation of these molecules leads to an influx of ions which induces neurons to turn on or off selectively.

Device: Inscopix nVoke (head-mounted for awake mice)

Functional ultrasound imaging

Functional ultrasound (fUS) imaging uses ultra-high sensitivity power Doppler sequences to detect hemodynamic events non-invasively, with high temporal and spatial resolution. fUS allows to image the whole brain activity levels and functional connectivity with high spatiotemporal resolution in anaesthetised or awake head-fixed mice.

Device: Iconeus One (head-fixed awake or anesthetized mice)


Femtonics Femto-Smart (head-fixed awake or anesthetized mice)1.2.	Wide-field imaging and optogeneticsOptical Imaging IOS (head-fixed anesthetized mice)Neurotar Invigilo (head-fixed awake or anesthetized mice) Inscopix nVoke (head-mounted for awake mice)Iconeus One (head-fixed awake or anesthetized mice)