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J Neurosci. 2019 Nov 13;39(46):9042-9052. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1527-18.2019. Epub 2019 Oct 2.

Wide. Fast. Deep: Recent Advances in Multiphoton Microscopy of In Vivo Neuronal Activity.

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Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle 98109, Washington,
Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle 98109, Washington.
Institute of Neuroinformatics, UZH and ETH Zurich, Zurich 8057, Switzerland.
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, ETH Zurich, Zurich 8092, Switzerland, and.
Faculty of Sciences, University of Zurich, Zurich 8057, Switzerland.


Multiphoton microscopy (MPM) has emerged as one of the most powerful and widespread technologies to monitor the activity of neuronal networks in awake, behaving animals over long periods of time. MPM development spanned across decades and crucially depended on the concurrent improvement of calcium indicators that report neuronal activity as well as surgical protocols, head fixation approaches, and innovations in optics and microscopy technology. Here we review the last decade of MPM development and highlight how in vivo imaging has matured and diversified, making it now possible to concurrently monitor thousands of neurons across connected brain areas or, alternatively, small local networks with sampling rates in the kilohertz range. This review includes different laser scanning approaches, such as multibeam technologies as well as recent developments to image deeper into neuronal tissues using new, long-wavelength laser sources. As future development will critically depend on our ability to resolve and discriminate individual neuronal spikes, we will also describe a simple framework that allows performing quantitative comparisons between the reviewed MPM instruments. Finally, we provide our own opinion on how the most recent MPM developments can be leveraged at scale to enable the next generation of discoveries in brain function.


imaging; in vivo; multiphoton; two-photon

[Available on 2020-05-13]

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