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event). Also on the program, as part of the Meet-the-Expert Series, was Stanford
University’s Mark Schnitzer speaking on large-scale optical imaging of ensemble
neural activity in freely behaving animals.
Optogenetics was the focus of a SfN-sponsored “purely social event” chaired
by Stephan Lammel of UC Berkeley and co-chair Elizabeth E. Steinberg, as well as
a number of poster sessions, including those focused on optogenetics tools development, integration with electrophysiology, and experimental uses. The technique was fairly ubiquitous in the exhibit hall as well. Kendall Research Systems
used the event to announce the commercial launch of its FCC- and CE-compliant
FireFly wireless optogenetics system, which includes a wireless power transmitter,
ultralight headstages with replaceable multisite, LED-based optics (>200mW/mm2
max optical power density/channel), and telemetry access point. FireFly enables
wirelessly programmed precision waveforms, support for many simultaneous subjects, a custom Windows/Mac/Linux-supported API for custom scripting of experiments, closed-loop triggering, and integration with other tools. Many other vendors touted optogenetics offerings, too, including Thorlabs, which has responded
to the surge of interest in the technique with low-cost tools for researchers wanting to build their own systems.
Thorlabs noted that mid-infrared is a focus area for the company, which now
offers $8,000 mid-IR lasers. And the company distributed a fabulous diagram
showing the flexibility of its modular Cerna-series microscopy setups.
Tools for microscopy
Of course, microscopy was a major focus at Neuroscience. Olympus targets a broad
audience with its FV-OSR super-resolution (~120 nm) technology, offering affordable,
automated, easy-to-use operation with two colors and no special dyes; the company
says that objectives make total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) or structured
illumination hardware unnecessary. The company hosted speakers from the Stanford
University lab of optogenetics pioneer Karl Deisseroth at an evening event. Among
the topics discussed was fast, high-resolution brain imaging with light microscopy.
Carl Zeiss Microscopy, too, hosted an evening event, which featured renowned neuroscientist Stephen J. Smith, a senior investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. And the company called its Zeiss LSM 880 with Airyscan a major milestone: A
confocal instrument designed on the basis of user need, its new detection concept
uses an array detector to oversample each Airy disk to substantially boost sensitivity, resolution ( 1. 7 higher in x, y, and z!), and speed. The result, says Zeiss, is quanti-
Kendall Research’s FireFly is a complete system for wireless optical neuromodulation.