Holographic fiber bundle system for patterned optogenetic activation of large-scale neuronal networks

Nairouz Farah, Alexandra Levinsky, Inbar Brosh, Itamar Kahn, Shy Shoham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Optogenetic perturbation has become a fundamental tool in controlling activity in neurons. Used to control activity in cell cultures, slice preparations, anesthetized and awake behaving animals, optical control of cell-type specific activity enables the interrogation of complex systems. A remaining challenge in developing optical control tools is the ability to produce defined light patterns such that power-efficient, precise control of neuronal populations is obtained. Here, we describe a system for patterned stimulation that enables the generation of structured activity in neurons by transmitting optical patterns from computer-generated holograms through an optical fiber bundle. The system couples the optical system to versatile fiber bundle configurations, including coherent or incoherent bundles composed of hundreds of up to several meters long fibers. We describe the components of the system, a method for calibration, and a detailed power efficiency and spatial specificity quantification. Next, we use the system to precisely control single-cell activity as measured by extracellular electrophysiological recordings in ChR2-expressing cortical cell cultures. The described system complements recent descriptions of optical control systems, presenting a system suitable for high-resolution spatiotemporal optical control of wide-area neural networks in vitro and in vivo, yielding a tool for precise neural system interrogation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045002
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge financial support by a grant from the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology, and Space.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).


  • Fiber bundles
  • Holography
  • Optogentics
  • Spatial light modulators


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