GRINtrode: a neural implant for simultaneous two-photon imaging and extracellular electrophysiology in freely moving animals

Neurophotonics. 2022 Oct;9(4):045009. doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.9.4.045009. Epub 2022 Dec 1.


Significance: In vivo imaging and electrophysiology are powerful tools to explore neuronal function that each offer unique complementary information with advantages and limitations. Capturing both data types from the same neural population in the freely moving animal would allow researchers to take advantage of the capabilities of both modalities and further understand how they relate to each other.

Aim: Here, we present a head-mounted neural implant suitable for in vivo two-photon imaging of neuronal activity with simultaneous extracellular electrical recording in head-fixed or fiber-coupled freely moving animals.

Approach: A gradient refractive index (GRIN) lens-based head-mounted neural implant with extracellular electrical recording provided by tetrodes on the periphery of the GRIN lens was chronically implanted. The design of the neural implant allows for recording from head-fixed animals, as well as freely moving animals by coupling the imaging system to a coherent imaging fiber bundle.

Results: We demonstrate simultaneous two-photon imaging of GCaMP and extracellular electrophysiology of neural activity in awake head-fixed and freely moving mice. Using the collected information, we perform correlation analysis to reveal positive correlation between optical and local field potential recordings.

Conclusion: Simultaneously recording neural activity using both optical and electrical methods provides complementary information from each modality. Designs that can provide such bi-modal recording in freely moving animals allow for the investigation of neural activity underlying a broader range of behavioral paradigms.

Keywords: electrophysiology; fiber imaging; freely moving; in vivo; multiphoton imaging.