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The Art of Mastering

Benefits and Restriction of Fiber Photometry

The fiber photometry system is a light projecting system where it is passed through fibers that are direct or those that have been coupled together with probe implanted in the brain for activation of the optogenetic actuators or encode reporters genetically and then project light back through the same fiber optic cable, but using mirrors to separate it from the excitation, offering the benefits discussed below.
It brings simplicity because the fiber photometry in light source, single fiber or one photodiode format enhances the recording of the neuron population without any other complicated spatial information ,which make it an easy way to generate data considering that optical things are easily available and the analog signals can be easily converted to digital ones using material that are common in neuroscience labs.
Secondly, there is a minimum weight on the head because there are not electronic devices placed on the head of the animal as it normally accumulates to a maximum of only 10g.
Thirdly, the system is cost effective, considering that a simple set up only consist of bandpass filters, LED, bandpass filters, fiber mount, fiber, and a detector which can be a cheap photodiode, as the materials.
The other advantage is on less heat generation and it comes about because there are no electronics, that could generate heat and damage the tissues of the animal, on the head.
Another advantage is that there is the potential of a fast acquisition rate because the analog outputs from photodiodes and RMTs are converted to digital at a frequency in the range of kHz. This frequency is fast to a level of detecting action potentials, and develop interest in advances in GEVIs.
Lastly on advantages, the thin fiber implants used for fiber photometry reduce invasiveness as they are 240 to 480 um thin, which is far less than any other methods that use implants making it less invasive and could be lesser but would be compromising on signal levels and recording area.
On the disadvantages, the first one is that it is only a handful of companies , like Amuza Inc, that offer part of the system for fiber photometry and it is easy for labs with technical capability to design and assemble such complete systems.
The other restriction is the one that comes with the tethering where the fiber implant is connected to detection hardware directly, making it hard to handle chronic recordings and is not allowed by some ethics based authorities.
Lastly on limitations, there is limited spatial information since the photometry system offers zero information on areas near the probe’s tip but offer data of population within the volume.

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