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Advantages and Limitations 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.
The third advantages is that it is a cost effective set up because the materials used in to make up the system are relatively cheap as they are only LED, a detector, bandpass filters, fiber cables, dicroics, and fiber mount.
The other benefit is that there is insignificant heat generation as there is no need of electronics on the head, an attribute that protects the tissue.
The fifth advantage is there is a potential of a fast rate of acquisition because the frequency of the converter that digitizes the analog outputs from photodiodes and PMTs ranges in the KHz, which is quite fast. The KHz frequency is fast enough for the detection of action potentials and may end up being of interest in the current advances in GEVI indicators.
On benefits, the final one is the one brought by the thin fiber used for fiber photometry where they reduce invasiveness because they are 240 to 480 um, making them thinner than both GRIN lenses and micro-lenses methods and could be much more thinner, only that they would lead to a compromise in signal levels and recording area.
The first disadvantage is that there are limited commercial options for fiber photometry as it is only a few companies like Amuza Inc that offer these systems, and a few labs that have the technical capability.
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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