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Nat Methods. 2010 Dec;7(12):981-4. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1530. Epub 2010 Oct 21.

Chronic optical access through a polished and reinforced thinned skull.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, California, USA.


We present a method to form an optical window in the mouse skull that spans millimeters and is stable for months without causing brain inflammation. This enabled us to repeatedly image blood flow in cortical capillaries of awake mice and determine long-range correlations in speed. We also repeatedly imaged dendritic spines, microglia and angioarchitecture, as well as used illumination to drive motor output via optogenetics and induce microstrokes via photosensitizers.

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