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  1. Fluorescence microscopes are indispensable to biology and neuroscience. The need for recording in freely behaving animals has further driven the development in miniaturized microscopes (miniscopes). However, conventional microscopes/miniscopes are inherently constrained by their limited space-bandwidth product, shallow depth of field (DOF), and inability to resolve three-dimensional (3D) distributed emitters. Here, we present a Computational Miniature Mesoscope (CM 2 ) that overcomes these bottlenecks and enables single-shot 3D imaging across an 8 mm by 7 mm field of view and 2.5-mm DOF, achieving 7-μm lateral resolution and better than 200-μm axial resolution. The CM 2 features a compact lightweight design that integrates a microlens array for imaging and a light-emitting diode array for excitation. Its expanded imaging capability is enabled by computational imaging that augments the optics by algorithms. We experimentally validate the mesoscopic imaging capability on 3D fluorescent samples. We further quantify the effects of scattering and background fluorescence on phantom experiments.
  2. Chronic cranial windows allow for longitudinal brain imaging experiments in awake, behaving mice. Different imaging technologies have their unique advantages and combining multiple imaging modalities offers measurements of a wide spectrum of neuronal, glial, vascular, and metabolic parameters needed for comprehensive investigation of physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms. Here, we detail a suite of surgical techniques for installation of different cranial windows targeted for specific imaging technologies and their combination. Following these techniques and practices will yield higher experimental success and reproducibility of results.
  3. Ever since the introduction of thrombolysis and the subsequent expansion of endovascular treatments for acute ischemic stroke, it remains to be identified why the actual outcomes are less favorable despite recanalization. Here, by high spatio-temporal resolution imaging of capillary circulation in mice, we introduce the pathological phenomenon of dynamic flow stalls in cerebral capillaries, occurring persistently in salvageable penumbra after reperfusion. These stalls, which are different from permanent cellular plugs of no-reflow, were temporarily and repetitively occurring in the capillary network, impairing the overall circulation like small focal traffic jams. In vivo microscopy in the ischemic penumbra revealed leukocytes traveling slowly through capillary lumen or getting stuck, while red blood cell flow was being disturbed in the neighboring segments under reperfused conditions. Stall dynamics could be modulated, by injection of an anti-Ly6G antibody specifically targeting neutrophils. Decreased number and duration of stalls were associated with improvement in penumbral blood flow within 2–24 h after reperfusion along with increased capillary oxygenation, decreased cellular damage and improved functional outcome. Thereby, dynamic microcirculatory stall phenomenon can be a contributing factor to ongoing penumbral injury and is a potential hyperacute mechanism adding on previous observations of detrimental effects of activated neutrophils in ischemic stroke.