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The #NeuroRigBuilder Team

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


Absolute reliability, long term stability, and precision, are the features that describe a good micromanipulator. There are different manipulator types: hydraulic , piezoelectric , stepper motor. They all have different advantages, disadvantages compare to each other, but this will be presented in a longer blog section in August.

Most of the manipulators receive their control signals via wires. This is an industry-standard in all the companies, except one. MCI has tried something new. They decided on wireless technology. It was definitely a time, as wireless technology can be extremely stable just as a wired connection.

There is one potentially annoying problem what wireless techniques can solve. It is the wire itself, which sometime is in the way, or can be a pulling force on the manipulator. If the cable is not shielded well it can cause noise. Anyhow there are plenty wires either way around an ephys rig, so one less can help a bit. There is no price jump to go wireless, so MCI manipulators can offer all the requirements just without wires.

See MCI @ #NeuroRigBuilder  


Image deconvolution and computational fusion of multiple views of the same sample could be very expansive or time-consuming processes. Hari Shroff and his colleagues have published new tools which can accelerate multiview image fusion and deconvolution as well. They claim these novel tools can increase speed up to ten-fold to several thousand-fold. They showed nice examples of superresolution, large brain tissue and various biological samples.

Their software is also freely available and maintained through GitHub. The software includes four sets of programs for implementing (1) WB deconvolution on a variety of different microscopes; (2) rapid registration of two volumetric images, for example, for subsequent WB deconvolution; (3) registration and deconvolution of large cleared-tissue datasets, imaged with diSPIM; and (4) our convolutional neural network (DenseDeconNet) for resolution recovery. Programs run in MATLAB except for DenseDeconNet, which is written in Python.

Source: Guo, M., Li, Y., Su, Y. et al. Rapid image deconvolution and multiview fusion for optical microscopy. Nat Biotechnol (2020).

For more information please visit: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41587-020-0560-x



Millimeter-scale cleared tissue of a mouse brain.

MCI Neuroscience

MCI Neuroscience is here!

Micro Control Instruments Ltd. is a neuroscience equipment developer and integrator. They are a leading innovator in deep tissue imaging, stimulation and recording in vivo. 

See their offers at #NeuroRigBuilder.

How can we understand better complex neural processes such as dendritic integration and encoding? The objects are always in a volume not just in one single plane and we can not see the bigger picture without recording the whole volume. In a recent paper Dr. Sakaki and his colleagues developed a two-photon microscope which using acousto-optic deflectors for ultrafast 3D scanning. It enables random-access sampling of thousands of points-of-interest. They showed nice examples on tectal neurons in albino Xenopus laevis tadpoles brain. They used single-cell electroporation for expression of a red space-filling fluorophore to determine dendritic arbor morphology, and either the calcium sensor jGCaMP7s or the glutamate sensor iGluSnFR as indicators of neural activity. These cutting-edge techniques allow examining complex input-output patterns within an intact brain. 

Excellent electroporators can be also find here at #NeuroRigBuilder: link

More details about the article: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncir.2020.00033/full


sakaki et al 2020.jpg



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

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