Andres de Groot and colleagues from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience have created a lightweight, versatile miniscope for fluorescence imaging and optogenetic stimulation.
Miniaturized fluorescent microscopes (miniscopes) are powerful tools used for the monitoring of neural signals during unrestrained behavior. NINscope is a compact miniscope that has an integrated inertial measurement sensor and an LED driver for optogenetic stimulation. Weighing only 1.6 grams, the design is small and light enough that it permits the use of dual miniscope recordings. This gives researchers the ability to monitor functional interactions between two regions of interest. NINscope uses a modified data acquisition module from the open-source UCLA Miniscope and is controlled by user friendly software that was programmed using the open-source Processing language. NINscope has been validated for dual recording, multi-site optogenetic stimulation, and deep brain imaging. This low footprint miniscope succeeds in making multi-region circuit investigations more accessible and provides a template for future small form factor miniscopes to build upon.