Multiphoton Microscope Modules

NeuraLeap Module for Ultima 2Pplus

A groundbreaking way to image rapidly across a range of depths

Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) Focusing for Ultima Microscopes

The NeuraLeap module provides researchers with a groundbreaking way to image rapidly across a range of depths. By combining an extended depth-of-field laser excitation module with an ultrafast DMD chip, NeuraLeap allows for nearly instantaneous switching between optical planes. Furthermore, it can define multiple excitation planes of varying sizes to selectively image larger volumes in a single optical plane. This module significantly increases the speed and flexibility for the Ultima microscope, thereby enabling researchers to image with greater temporal resolution in the brain.​  

Ultrafast Z-Focusing Combined with Variable Depth-of-Field Selection

NeuraLeap's DMD allows rapid (20 µs) switching between planes, enabling the collection of multiple discrete planes across hundreds of microns of depth. Furthermore, NeuraLeap has a narrow mode and a wide mode that supports larger arbitrary jumps. With no added wait time for the Z-device, this greatly increases the rate at which samples can be scanned in Z. There is no additional delay for larger jumps, and planes can be arbitrarily selected for imaging, giving researchers more flexibility when it comes to how volumes are collected.

NeuraLeap can near-instantaneously switch between frames. Here is shown 120 µm of mouse cortex sampled in 12 individual frames in a total of 400 ms. This can be used to generate depth information for fast imaging of a thicker section of sparse neurons. Acquisition displayed in real-time.

GCaMP imaging of motor cortex, courtesy of Eddy Albarran, Costa Lab, Columbia University.

Animation depicting rapid and large changes in Z focus using the Neuraleap module. The beam can jump roughly 120μm to sample from within layers, or over 400μm to sample between different layers of cortex.


Two examples from the mouse cortex expressing GCaMP are shown. In narrow mode, a jump can be made between two slices of layer 2/3.



In wide mode, it can jump between layer 2/3 and layer 5. These frames are captured sequentially with no lag in switching between depths. Image courtesy of Neto Canton, Northwestern University.

Image with a large, variable depth-of-field

The NeuraLeap module can generate an elongated illumination spot that will excite fluorophores in planes up to 150 microns thick with a 16x objective, allowing for resonant-rate imaging of volumes where optical mixing of the signals is not a concern. In addition to greatly increasing frame rates for volumes, this larger illumination plane also helps prevent signal changes due to Z motions in samples, making data collection more reliable.

Animation depicting changes in depth-of-field using the NeuraLeap. As the beam elongates, more of the sample is excited simultaneously.
An example from the mouse ventral tegmental area. As the beam expands, more neurons and their processes become visible. Image courtesy of Kevin Mann, Bruker.

Select multiple planes to image simultaneously

NeuraLeap can produce two discrete imaging spots along its full depth of field, allowing researchers to select multiple planes of interest to image at resonant-rate speeds, separated by hundreds of microns. Complex applications, such as voltage imaging or where cells must be imaged across large distances in Z with high temporal precision, are now feasible with this dual-plane imaging feature.

GCaMP imaging of motor cortex with calcium trace extraction , courtesy of Eddy Albarran, Costa Lab, Columbia University.
Animation depicting multipoint mode with the Neuraleap. In this configuration, multiple spots can be targeted on your samples. This allows for optical mixing of two layers at the same time. It can be useful when imaging sparse lines where temporal resolution is critical.

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