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  1. Abstract Human cortical organoids, three-dimensional neuronal cultures, are emerging as powerful tools to study brain development and dysfunction. However, whether organoids can functionally connect to a sensory network in vivo has yet to be demonstrated. Here, we combine transparent microelectrode arrays and two-photon imaging for longitudinal, multimodal monitoring of human cortical organoids transplanted into the retrosplenial cortex of adult mice. Two-photon imaging shows vascularization of the transplanted organoid. Visual stimuli evoke electrophysiological responses in the organoid, matching the responses from the surrounding cortex. Increases in multi-unit activity (MUA) and gamma power and phase locking of stimulus-evoked MUA with slow oscillations indicate functional integration between the organoid and the host brain. Immunostaining confirms the presence of human-mouse synapses. Implantation of transparent microelectrodes with organoids serves as a versatile in vivo platform for comprehensive evaluation of the development, maturation, and functional integration of human neuronal networks within the mouse brain.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  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.