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  1. Abstract

    Mesoscopic calcium imaging enables studies of cell-type specific neural activity over large areas. A growing body of literature suggests that neural activity can be different when animals are free to move compared to when they are restrained. Unfortunately, existing systems for imaging calcium dynamics over large areas in non-human primates (NHPs) are table-top devices that require restraint of the animal’s head. Here, we demonstrate an imaging device capable of imaging mesoscale calcium activity in a head-unrestrained male non-human primate. We successfully miniaturize our system by replacing lenses with an optical mask and computational algorithms. The resulting lensless microscope can fit comfortably on an NHP, allowing its head to move freely while imaging. We are able to measure orientation columns maps over a 20 mm2field-of-view in a head-unrestrained macaque. Our work establishes mesoscopic imaging using a lensless microscope as a powerful approach for studying neural activity under more naturalistic conditions.

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  2. Traditional miniaturized fluorescence microscopes are critical tools for modern biology. Invariably, they struggle to simultaneously image with a high spatial resolution and a large field of view (FOV). Lensless microscopes offer a solution to this limitation. However, real-time visualization of samples is not possible with lensless imaging, as image reconstruction can take minutes to complete. This poses a challenge for usability, as real-time visualization is a crucial feature that assists users in identifying and locating the imaging target. The issue is particularly pronounced in lensless microscopes that operate at close imaging distances. Imaging at close distances requires shift-varying deconvolution to account for the variation of the point spread function (PSF) across the FOV. Here, we present a lensless microscope that achieves real-time image reconstruction by eliminating the use of an iterative reconstruction algorithm. The neural network-based reconstruction method we show here, achieves more than 10000 times increase in reconstruction speed compared to iterative reconstruction. The increased reconstruction speed allows us to visualize the results of our lensless microscope at more than 25 frames per second (fps), while achieving better than 7 µm resolution over a FOV of 10 mm2. This ability to reconstruct and visualize samples in real-time empowers a more user-friendly interaction with lensless microscopes. The users are able to use these microscopes much like they currently do with conventional microscopes.

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  3. Abstract The simple and compact optics of lensless microscopes and the associated computational algorithms allow for large fields of view and the refocusing of the captured images. However, existing lensless techniques cannot accurately reconstruct the typical low-contrast images of optically dense biological tissue. Here we show that lensless imaging of tissue in vivo can be achieved via an optical phase mask designed to create a point spread function consisting of high-contrast contours with a broad spectrum of spatial frequencies. We built a prototype lensless microscope incorporating the ‘contour’ phase mask and used it to image calcium dynamics in the cortex of live mice (over a field of view of about 16 mm 2 ) and in freely moving Hydra vulgaris , as well as microvasculature in the oral mucosa of volunteers. The low cost, small form factor and computational refocusing capability of in vivo lensless microscopy may open it up to clinical uses, especially for imaging difficult-to-reach areas of the body. 
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