Multipoint-emitting optical fibers for spatially addressable in vivo optogenetics

Neuron. 2014 Jun 18;82(6):1245-54. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.04.041. Epub 2014 May 29.


Optical stimulation and silencing of neural activity is a powerful technique for elucidating the structure and function of neural circuitry. In most in vivo optogenetic experiments, light is delivered into the brain through a single optical fiber. However, this approach limits illumination to a fixed volume of the brain. Here a focused ion beam is used to pattern multiple light windows on a tapered optical fiber. We show that such fibers allow selective and dynamic illumination of different brain regions along the taper. Site selection is achieved by a simple coupling strategy at the fiber input, and the use of a single tapered waveguide minimizes the implant invasiveness. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach for multipoint optical stimulation in the mammalian brain in vivo by coupling the fiber to a microelectrode array and performing simultaneous extracellular recording and stimulation at multiple sites in the mouse striatum and cerebral cortex.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electrodes, Implanted*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Optical Fibers*
  • Optogenetics / instrumentation
  • Optogenetics / methods*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*