Billions of neurons are active in the human brain. They form flexible connections, which can be stabilized during information processing in learning and memory formation or destabilized in the reverse processes. The culture and imaging of neuronal cells is particularly challenging since mature neurons do not undergo cell division. One major problem associated with cultured neuronal networks is their short survival. Susceptibility to infection, hyperosmolality related to medium evaporation and the fact that it takes several weeks to months to observe network-wide activity makes increasing viability and extending neural life span in vitro extremely important. This type of stress leads to significant limitations for live cell imaging possibilities. The 3D Cell Explorer microscope would help avoid these perturbations and improve fundamental research on brain cells as the samples need no preparation, which allows for a fast, non-invasive and unbiased live cell observation. In addition, the 3D Cell Explorer laser uses 100 times less energy than the least energetic laser in the current fluorescent imaging approaches, which makes long-term imaging (up to weeks) possible.
Neural plasticity in live rat hippocampal neurons
In these videos we can observe rat hippocampal neurons in culture. The purple colored video is digitally stained and in 3D.
The cells were at 7 DIV, when they already become “mature neurons”. In this short video we can clearly observe two distinctive phenomena characterizing the normal physiology of this beautiful cell type: vesicle migration and neuronal plasticity.
A special thanks for the beautiful sample goes to the lab of prof. Šuput’s group at the Institute of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Neuronal Mitochondria Dynamics
In this spectacular video of live neuron cells we can observe the dynamics and behavior of living and completely unperturbed mitochondria moving inside axons, dendrites and around the nucleus.