Fiber photometry has become increasingly popular among neuroscientists as a convenient tool for the recording of genetically defined neuronal population in behaving animals. Here, we report the development of the multi-channel fiber photometry system to simultaneously monitor neural activities in several brain areas of an animal or in different animals. In this system, a galvano-mirror modulates and cyclically couples the excitation light to individual multimode optical fiber bundles. A single photodetector collects excited light and the configuration of fiber bundle assembly and the scanner determines the total channel number. We demonstrated that the system exhibited negligible crosstalk between channels and optical signals could be sampled simultaneously with a sample rate of at least 100 Hz for each channel, which is sufficient for recording calcium signals. Using this system, we successfully recorded GCaMP6 fluorescent signals from the bilateral barrel cortices of a head-restrained mouse in a dual-channel mode, and the orbitofrontal cortices of multiple freely moving mice in a triple-channel mode. The multi-channel fiber photometry system would be a valuable tool for simultaneous recordings of population activities in different brain areas of a given animal and different interacting individuals.
Keywords: (170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.2150) Endoscopic imaging; (170.2655) Functional monitoring and imaging; (180.2520) Fluorescence microscopy.