In studies of in vivo extracellular recording, we usually penetrate electrodes almost blindly into the neural tissue, in order to detect the neural activity from an expected target location at a certain depth. After the recording, it is necessary for us to determine the position of the electrodes precisely. Generally, to identify the position of the electrode, one method is to examine the postmortem tissue sample at micron resolution. The other method is using MRI and it does not have enough resolution to resolve the neural structures. To solve such problems, we propose swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) as a tool to visualize the cross-sectional image of the neural target structure along with the penetrating electrode. We focused on a rodent olfactory bulb (OB) as the target. We succeeded in imaging both the OB layer structure and the penetrating electrode, simultaneously. The method has the advantage of detecting the electrode shape and the position in real time, in vivo. These results indicate the possibility of using SS-OCT as a powerful tool for guiding the electrode into the target tissue precisely in real time and localizing the electrode tip during electrophysiological recordings.
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