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About the Electrophysiology & Optogenetics Facilities

The Electrophysiology & Optogenetics Facilities house a variety of neurophysiology, muscle physiology, optical and electrical stimulation and microinjection equipment to support the neural prosthetic and viral gene therapy research endeavors of investigators at the ZVAMC Labs.
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Featured Capabilities

Data Capture

Data Capture

The ZVAMC Labs provide advanced data capture technologies for electrophysiology and optogenetics experiments, including a Digidata data acquisition system, Cambridge electronic System (CED) data systems, pClamp and Spike2 data analysis software. The Ponemah Software and Equipment platform is available for capture and analysis of EMG and EEC recordings from unrestrained mice, and nVoke integrated system (Inscopix) is available to facilitate in vivo cellular-resolution calcium imaging with simultaneous or sequential optogenetic manipulation. An OASIS Macro Mesoscope (Mightex) provides whole brain calcium imaging capabilities in rodents, while a Polygon DMD patterned illuminator provides precise spatiotemporal control of optogenetic modulation and mapping experiments.
Electrophysiology

Electrophysiology

The ZVAMC Labs house a number of electrophysiological recording systems from vendors such Tucker Davis Technologies, Ripple, and Cambridge Electronic Systems. These are used to record a variety of neural signals from brain, spinal cord, nerve, and skeletal and respiratory muscles, with up to 128 channels of simultaneous recording. These systems are also used to coordinate other physiological measures such as muscle force, as well as electrical or optogenetic stimulation.
Injection

Injection

ZVAMC Labs are home to a robotic stereotaxic system for microinjections of viruses and other tracers or chemicals. This system provides motorized, computer-controlled positioning with atlas integration and intuitive movement control, enabling high accuracy, high-throughput electrophysiology and stereotaxic injections. In addition, the labs house multiple rodent stereotaxic apparatuses (Narishige) and portable micropositioners with magnetic bases for positioning injections, acute electrodes, and optical fibers for in vivo preparations. Finally, the labs house a WPI UMP3 microinjection syringe pump and a WPI Nanoliter glass capillary nanoinjector, each coordinated by a 2-channel SMARTouch controller, a Kopf digital manipulator, as well as a picospritzer.
Optogenetics

Optogenetics

The ZVAMC Labs house a number of devices for light delivery for optogenetic neuromodulation studies. These devices target neural tissue that has been genetically modified to be sensitive to light, which allows investigators to stimulate or inhibit activity in targeted neural populations illuminating them with specific wavelengths of light. Specialized equipment for these experiments includes several high-power fiber-coupled lasers for optogenetic peripheral nerve stimulation, a Polygon DMD illuminator (Mightex) for precisely patterned stimulation and optogenetic mapping, and an nVoke (Inscopix) miniaturized microscope system for implantable chronic calcium imaging and optogenetic modulation experiments with cellular resolution in freely behaving rodents.