Optogenetics Application Notes
Optogenetics is a technology which allows for the activation or suppression of very specific cellular behaviors. Using optogenetics, the activity of individual cells or small cell groups can be manipulated and observed in real time, and this has allowed for novel and groundbreaking research over the past several years. The technique is so promising that Nature Methods named it their "Method of the Year" in 2010, and development in this field shows no signs of slowing.
Laserglow's laboratory laser modules are currently being used for optogenetics research in many leading laboratories. We've helped many labs to plan and design their apparatus and our staff are happy to assist you in determining which lasers and optical components you require in order to get up and running. We provide the full spectrum of commonly-used wavelengths, with valuable features such as enhanced power stability, low optical noise, customized fiber coupling, power adjustment and easily controllable pulse frequency/duty cycle. Our customers keep coming back time and again because we provide expert advice and complete solutions, so you can focus on getting results.
Some of our most popular lasers which are currently being used for optogenetics research are listed below:
473 nm Blue
LRS-0473: Best value, power up to 1.5 W.
LLS-0473: Less than 1% optical noise (1-20 MHz), very stable output power up to 500 mW.
532 nm Green
LRS-0532: Best value, power up to 20 W.
LLS-0532: Less than 1% optical noise (1-20 MHz), very stable output power up to 20 W.
561 nm Yellow-Green
LRS-0561: Best value, power up to 2 W.
LLS-0561: Less than 1% optical noise (1-20 MHz), very stable output power up to 100 mW.
589 nm Yellow
LRS-0589: Best value, power up to 3 W.
LLS-0589: Less than 1% optical noise (1-20 MHz), very stable output power up to 3 W.
593.5 nm Yellow
LRS-0594: Best value, power up to 800 mW.
LLS-0594: Less than 1% optical noise (1-20 MHz), very stable output power up to 800 mW.
Low-noise lasers are usually chosen for electrophysiology, since they have very stable optical power over short timescales. Regular DPSS lasers tend to have optical noise on the scale of 5-20% RMS at 1-20 MHz, making them suitable for behavioral research but less so for electrophysiology. The low-noise lasers do not feature internal modulation, however, and must be attenuated or modulated externally. See below for information about our Modular Optics Kits, which can provide this additional functionality.
External Modulators, Attenuators, and Free-Space Fiber Coupling
Our new line of Modular Optics Kits can be used to enhance the performance of your laser. Many DPSS lasers tend to have less-than-ideal pulse shapes when directly modulated at certain frequencies, and this can cause trouble for applications requiring very stable and consistent pulse shapes. By running the laser continually and modulating it using an external device, the pulse shape can be controlled more precisely and with better repeatability.
We've designed our Modular Optics Kits according to the needs of our customers, and we're always adding new kits as we discover better ways to improve the performance of our laser systems. If you have a requirement for a specific pulse shape, or some other behavior that you don't see listed here, please contact us to discuss your project with one of our laser application specialists.
For a more detailed look at the different kinds of modulation available for your laser, please see our "Modulating Lasers" info page.
Contact us to speak to our application experts about your setup. We've helped plenty of researchers just like you save time and money on their optogenetics labs!