Thorlabs enters agreement with multiphoton imaging technique developer

The multiphoton imaging technique was originally developed at HHMI's Janelia Research Campus in the lab of Dr. Na Ji.

Nov 6th, 2018

Photonics products maker Thorlabs (Newton, NJ) has signed a licensing agreement with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI; Chevy Chase, MD) for exclusive rights to a new Bessel beam multiphoton imaging technique. The volumetric technique was originally developed at HHMI's Janelia Research Campus in the lab of Dr. Na Ji, who now resides at the University of California, Berkeley.

Volumetric imaging adds to Thorlabs' line of imaging systems, which include, among other options, configurations for holographic photostimulation, large‐field‐of‐view multiphoton imaging, and three-photon imaging. This new ultra‐high speed technique relies on the nondiffractive and self‐healing properties of Bessel beams. These characteristics allow the beams to maintain a tight focus and even reform as they pass through tissue, resulting in an imaging technique with temporal resolution adequate for studying neuronal systems' internal dynamics at cellular lateral resolution.

This new technique scans large volumes of a sample simultaneously, effectively converting the traditional 2D frame rate into a 3D volume rate. Whereas previous methods have used physical movement of a focused beam inside tissue, this technique provides video‐rate volumetric functional imaging of neuronal pathways and interactions in vivo.

The multiphoton volume imaging technique will be offered as an add-on module for the Thorlabs' Multiphoton Mesoscope and Bergamo (either two- or three‐photon) imaging systems. It will also be incorporated into one of the company's demonstrations at the upcoming 2018 Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

"Like the commercialization of our two‐photon random access mesoscope (2p‐RAM), which was developed in Karel Svoboda's lab at Janelia Research Campus, and joint work with Michael Hausser from the University College London on Holographic Photostimulation, we seek to provide the supporting tools necessary for cutting edge research in the field of neuroscience," says Sam Rubin, general manager of Thorlabs Imaging Systems.

For more information, please visit

More in Neuroscience