The understanding of the human brain still represents one of the major challenges of the 21st century. There have been significant advances in imaging and neuronal excitation, allowing the analysis of part of the brain’s complex activities in high resolution and in real-time. Femtosecond lasers have played an important role in these advances through their possibility to image neuronal activity in larger volume, in depth and in real-time.
In recent years, femtosecond laser pulses have been used to stimulate or inhibate neurons or population of neurons through multi-photon excitation. This field, called optogenetics, presents significant interest to further understand processes related, for instance, to neurodegenerative diseases, which constitute a major challenge in today’s medical research.
Due to multiphoton processes, high intensity laser pulses are critical to provide efficient photo-stimulation of targeted neuron population. Spark Lasers’ ALCOR and DIADEM are particularly suited for high resolution imaging of neuronal activity and optogenetics respectively. Their reduced size allows the users to save space on complex optical systems.