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The #NeuroRigBuilder Team

News - neuroscience, tech and site news
https://www.neurorigbuilder.com #NeuroRigBuilder




Erler-Zimmer (EZ) is specialized in development and manufacturing of high-quality medical education materials and trainers. The anatomical models are university-education graded, meeting the high expectations of students, doctors, researchers and therapists.

A selection of Erler-Zimmer products are available at #NeuroRigBuilder and ready to help you disseminate, explain, and teach neuroscience. These models can also help in better visualisation, planning or development of your next experiment. And oh, yes, they are also eye-catching objects in your office or lab.

Have a look at EZ @ #NRB here.

Stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM microscopy) revolutionized superresolution segment in neuroscience almost fifteen years ago. Although, it also has some limitations (overlapping emitters in dense tissue even in 2D) Shechtman and his colleagues claimed they have a solution called PSF engineering. They implemented phase mask (using either a liquid crystal spatial light modulator (LC-SLM) or fabricated fused silica) dictates the shape of the PSF as a function of the emitter’s axial position. They also used a deconvolution algorithm to create fine structural images over large axial volume (4 µm). Moreover, volumetric tracking is also possible. They named it DeepSTORM3D technique. It can open new horizons for other interesting applications.

You can find more details here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41592-020-0853-5

Nehme, E., Freedman, D., Gordon, R. et al. DeepSTORM3D: dense 3D localization microscopy and PSF design by deep learning. Nat Methods (2020).


One of the most commonly used 1D head-fixed behavioral apparatus is a basic treadmill. Let’s not argue on how easy or difficult to build a system like that.  We need to consider the level of quality that our device needs to be in order to reliably use it for a series of experiments. We can always ask microscope suppliers to have enough space under the objective, but looking at the option to purchase such a behavior device from a company like Phenosys, we can be sure it is compact and they designed it with a reason that it would fit under most of the microscopes.

Speed Belt by Phenosys is a well designed elegant simple product. Allowing the researcher to exchange the belt quite easily and quickly. It gives us some flexibility on the height and the angle which the mice run. It provides all the necessary data which can be requested from a 1D device.  The data can be received by USB, or via BNC (0-5V) cable if we would need to have an analog signal for any kind triggering purpose, like start imaging/stimulating when the mouse is at a given part of the treadmill.

There is a price as always, but we would use the SpeedBelt for a multiphoton system, we can definitely negotiate the price of the system lower enough that we can buy this out-of-shelf turn-key behavioral device.


Many scientists believe acousto optical scanning is a very sophisticated and mysterious something. Well, it is partly true, this technique is a high-end tech nowdays. Nothing proves it better than a new article in the excellent Nature Methods from the Silver laboratory.

Imaging in awake animals is a challenging task because these random motions can generate tons of false data and can ruin the whole experiment. The authors claimed they found the way to eliminate these motion artefacts not after the experiment but real time. To achieve this, they controlled the scanning focal point by ultrasound waves. The main advantage of this method is the ultra-fast speed. Every cycle a reference object was scanned to check its 3D position. They modified the scanning pattern slightly according to the position of reference object. With this method they could eliminate almost every motion. This can not be done by conventional multiphoton microscopes.

Looking forward what comes next!



Established in 2005, Neuronelektród Ltd designs and manufactures microelectrodes for neural recordings delivering innovative, custom-made electrodes for various research needs. Neuronelektród serves a valuable role in the neurotechnology market and is the trusted supplier of critical technology to some of the most prestigious neuroscience research labs around the world.

Selected electrods are now available from #NeuroRigBuilder, with customizable possibilities and full support.

Schröder et al. show that the output of retinal ganglion cells depends not only on visual input but also on the animal’s level of arousal. The effect of arousal propagates to downstream neurons in the midbrain, independent of cortical input. They used air-suspended Styrofoam ball visual stimuli system and recorded visual responses of retinal boutons in superior colliculus. The study is a really nice example how to image retinal synapses and in the intact brain during behavior.

Similar VR system is available at #NeuroRigBuilder.

schröder fig1.JPG

source: https://www.cell.com/neuron/pdf/S0896-6273(20)30318-4.pdf


PhenoSys was founded in 2006 and is an R&D company based in the centre of Berlin in Germany. They engineer and market innovative technology for animal behaviour research.

They offer high-end systems for behavioural phenotyping, brain research, experimental psychology, and the diagnostic characterization of animal models for translational medicine.

This company is doing neuroscience-engineering as a mission! Check out their unique solutions for VR and MORE on #NeuroRigBuilder!

New study “Reward Association Enhances Stimulus-Specific Representations in Primary Visual Cortex.” has been recently released last month in Current Biology. Henschke and her colleagues demonstrated that the association of a reward with a repetitive visual stimulus over 5 consecutive days resulted in an enhanced representation of the reward-associated stimulus in mouse V1 layer 2/3 neurons, while responses to other stimuli were unaffected. They did sophisticated behavior experiments like random, uncoupled and goal-oriented water reward with VR system during locomotion in a learning paradigm.

They performed two-photon resonant calcium imaging and used Jet Ball System from #PhenoSys.

The study is open access: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(20)30356-0.pdf

During these difficult days, an interesting scientific breaktrough feels just like a good mojito cocktail on the beach. People around the world are focusing on Covid-19 and watching how the virus is spreading everywhere. Everybody knows a virus can infect people but there is something else too.

The nervous system can also transmit mRNA between cells like a virus! Retrovirus Gag (group-specific antigen gene) polyprotein mediates capsid formation to pack and transfer viral genomes into the cytoplasm of newly infected cells.

Two teams (Pastuzyn et al., 2018; Ashley et al., 2018) used single-particle cryo-electron microscopy to visualize the viral capsids. They presented a high-resolution structural representation of Arc (activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein) capsids, enabling deeper analysis of their function.

Source: Pastuzyn, E. D. et al. Cell 172, 275–288.e18 (2018). , Ashley, J. et al. Cell 172, 262–274.e11 (2018)



The most important tool in neuroscience is a multiphoton rig in 2020. If we ask why, the answer is relatively easy, because it is non-invasive and it is able to use for functional imaging. In a recent study Wang and his colleagues showed a new method to examine the mouse without any surgery. They could image the cortex with a decent spatial resolution even in the deep regions. Three-photon excitation (3PE) is a great tool to revolutionize the functional imaging in the neuroscience.

The attached figure shows a comparison of through-skull vasculature imaging by 3PM and 2PM.

Original publication: Wang, T., Ouzounov, D.G., Wu, C. et al. Three-photon imaging of mouse brain structure and function through the intact skull. Nat Methods 15, 789–792 (2018)



All images shown are for illustration purpose only. See details in Terms.
https://www.neurorigbuilder.com #NeuroRigBuilder