Chronic optical access through a polished and reinforced thinned skull

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


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Bone Cements
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Cerebrum / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebrum / physiology
  • Mammals
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • Skull / anatomy & histology*
  • Skull / physiology
  • Skull / surgery
  • Wakefulness


  • Bone Cements