Membrane water for probing neuronal membrane potentials and ionic fluxes at the single cell level

Neurons communicate through electrochemical signaling within a complex network. These signals are composed of changes in membrane potentials and are traditionally measured with the aid of (toxic) fluorescent labels or invasive electrical probes. Here, we demonstrate an improvement in label-free second harmonic neuroimaging sensitivity by ~3 orders of magnitude using a wide-field medium repetition rate illumination. We perform a side-by side patch-clamp and second harmonic imaging comparison to demonstrate the theoretically predicted linear correlation between whole neuron membrane potential changes and the square root of the second harmonic intensity. We assign the ion induced changes to the second harmonic intensity to changes in the orientation of membrane interfacial water, which is used to image spatiotemporal changes in the membrane potential and K + ion flux. We observe a non-uniform spatial distribution and temporal activity of ion channels in mouse brain neurons.

Published in:
Nature Communications, 9, 1
Dec 11 2018
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 Record created 2018-12-11, last modified 2018-12-12

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