Microscope and Imaging Solutions for Neuroscience Research

Neuroscience Research

The Study of the Nervous System

The research field of neuroscience focuses on the study of the nervous system. It deals with nerve function, nervous system disorders, learning, memory and nerve regeneration, among others. As a neuroscientist you image a wide range of samples including, but not limited to, single cells, complex tissues of Drosophila and C. elegans, or even whole brains inside living mice or rats.

Electrophysiology, Uncaged

Electrophysiology studies play an important part in neuroscience research. For example, caged neurotransmitters are released in precise locations using two-photon lasers. You need to measure responses subsequently either by voltage changes or by fluorescence imaging. Using the fixed-stage microscope Axio Examiner you profit from generous and well accessible sample space for installation of micropipettes, electrodes and special stages. You visualize your relevant structures with a range of contrasting methods:e.g. oblique illumination, differential interference contrast and Dodt gradient contrast. To leave your patch-clamp accessories undisturbed, you control all motorized functions remotely via a docking station or ZEN imaging software. The Physiology module of ZEN perfectly supports your patch-clamp experiments. Measure fluorescence intensities and analyze ratios online to monitor changes in ion concentration or pH-value during your fast or longterm time lapse experiments.

Imaging of Whole Brain Sections

For digitization of complete brain sections in Alzheimer’s disease and brain injury research, ZEISS offers an integrated solution. With Axio Scan.Z1 you acquire and analyze virtual slides in brightfield and multichannel fluorescence. The system provides flexibility of acquisition parameters and slide dimensions. High image quality and reproducible results ensure valid analyses. Z stack functionality and extended depth of focus even enables automated imaging of thicker specimens. Axio Scan.Z1 is complemented by a range of ZEN software solutions to support the complete digital workflow including platform-independent remote access.

Scaling Deep Into Tissues

To examine neuronal architecture and connections, it is necessary to obtain optical sections and penetrate deep into brain tissue. Confocal laser scanning microscopes (LSM) from ZEISS, such as LSM 800 and LSM 880 provide extremely sensitive imaging and are particularly well suited for neuroscience research. Profit from 34-channel parallel imaging across the complete wavelength to monitor up to 10 dyes simultaneously for beautiful images of your Brainbow mouse. With the NLO multiphoton microscopy add-on for LSM 880 you combine laser scanning functionality with an outstanding imaging depth thanks to nonlinear optics. Record intact neuronal networks in living animals or thick tissue specimens.
Your research with your most demanding live samples benefits from ZEISS technology: detectors, filters, lasers, and incubation guarantee perfect results while maintaining optimal environmental conditions. To render brain tissue virtually transparent while preserving fluorescent proteins you apply clearing methods such as 'Scale' to your sample. In combination with a range of special clearing objectives, you image to a depth of almost six millimeters within your tissue.

Superresolution and Slicing – Discover the Connectome

Closer neuroscience research investigations of fluorescently-labeled neuronal spines are possible using superresolution microscopy methods such as structured illumination microscopy (SR-SIM). With ELYRA S.1 you benefit from twice the resolving power of a conventional light microscope by using any conventional fluorophore and Z-sectioning for 3D data acquisition.
With electron microscopy you accomplish ultra-resolution of neural connections and intracellular structures. The field emission scanning electron microscopes from the Sigma and GeminiSEM families in combination with 3View from Gatan are the perfect tools for 3D reconstruction of large volumes. By sequentially slicing the tissue with an ultramicrotome inside the SEM chamber, you image brain or nervous tissue and then reassemble the images for in depth analysis in a process called serial block-face electron microscopy (SBEM) imaging. Alternatively you use Atlas for automated large area imaging of serial sections or Atlas 3D for ion beam milling and SEM imaging with Crossbeam. If you want to link functional investigations using fluorescent markers with ultrastructural information from electron microscopes, Shuttle & Find provides a unique workflow for highest efficiency. You profit from fast relocation and precise image overlays with this unique solution for correlative light and electron microscopy by ZEISS.

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