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Investigation of the transient processes integral to neuronal function demands rapid and high-resolution imaging techniques over a large field of view, which cannot be achieved with conventional scanning microscopes. Here we describe a compact light sheet fluorescence microscope, featuring a 45° inverted geometry and an integrated photolysis laser, that is optimized for applications in neuroscience, in particular fast imaging of sub-neuronal structures in mammalian brain slices. We demonstrate the utility of this design for three-dimensional morphological reconstruction, activation of a single synapse with localized photolysis, and fast imaging of neuronal Ca(2+) signalling across a large field of view. The developed system opens up a host of novel applications for the neuroscience community.

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Animals, CA3 Region, Hippocampal, Calcium Signaling, Central Nervous System, Equipment Design, Fluorescent Dyes, Lasers, Male, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Photolysis, Rats, Rats, Wistar