Double-μ Periscope: a tool for multi-layer optical recordings, optogenetic stimulations or both

Mototaka Suzuki, Jaan Aru and Matthew E Larkum

Intelligent behavior and cognitive functions in mammals depend on cortical microcircuits made up of a variety of excitatory and inhibitory cells that form a forest-like complex across six layers. Mechanistic understanding of cortical microcircuits requires both manipulation and monitoring of multiple layers and interactions between them. However, existing techniques are limited as to simultaneous monitoring and stimulation at different depths without damaging a large volume of cortical tissue. Here, we present a relatively simple and versatile method for delivering light to any two cortical layers simultaneously. The method uses a tiny optical probe consisting of two micro-prismsmounted on a single shaft. We demonstrate the versatility of the probe in three sets of experiments: first, two distinct cortical layers were optogenetically and independently manipulated; second, one layer was stimulated while the activity of another layer was monitored; third, the activity of thalamicaxons distributed in two distinct cortical layers were simultaneously monitored in awake mice. Its simple-design, versatility, small-size and low-cost allow the probe to be applied widely to address important biological questions.

eLife 2021;10:e72894 (2021)


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