A recently developed smartphone application allows estimating the required optical power for a given in vivo optogenetic stimulation experiment or any other experimental approach that includes light delivery to deep brain areas via optical fibers. Different brain areas have different optical properties, which determine how light scatters and distributes (and how deeply it penetrates the tissue), once it exits the fiber. The application has a complete mouse brain atlas included that can be used to determine the optical properties of any brain area in the mouse brain (the data on which the calculations are based on was recently published in PlosONE: Aj-Juboori et al, 2013). The user can find the brain areas of his choice, mark it on the atlas, then tell the application what type of optogenetic protein he/she wants to use, as well as the type of optical fiber, desired optical power, and desired protein activation ratio. The application then estimates how far the light will spread in this particular experimental situation (and thus, up to which distance from the fiber tip optogenetic protein activation can be expected). The APP comes in two versions, a free version and a Pro Version that costs $1.99. The two versions are exactly the same with the one difference that the free version includes only a partial brain atlas while the full version includes the complete atlas.
Where to find it?
- Check out www.optogeneticsapp.com.
- Or go to iTunes and search for “Optogenetics” and you will find the APP easily. At this point, it is available only for iPhone, iPad etc, but an Android version is in progress.