Optical microscopy is a powerful technique that utilizes light to visualize small features beyond the limits of our eyes. Through interactions with matter, such as reflection, absorption, polarization, and fluorescence, optical microscopy generates image contrast. Unlike x-ray radiation, light consists of non-ionizing electromagnetic waves, making it safe for biological imaging while providing a wide range of contrast mechanisms. This noninvasive imaging method offers high spatial resolution, making it an essential tool in biomedical research. In recent years, fluorescence microscopy and advancements in fluorescent labelling technology have sparked a revolution in our exploration of biological structures and dynamics within living organisms. These techniques have opened up new possibilities for studying complex biological systems. However, one major challenge that often arises in optical microscopy is biological tissue-induced aberrations, which can degrade image quality and limit the effectiveness of bioimaging. To overcome this hurdle, adaptive optics (AO) techniques, originally developed to correct atmospheric aberrations, have been successfully applied to various microscopy methods. AO enables the correction of aberrations in real time, thus enhancing the imaging capabilities and allowing for high- or super-resolution imaging of biological structures and functions, even in complex tissues.
One field where adaptive optics microscopy has made significant contributions is neuroscience, which encompasses the study of the nervous system, with a primary focus on the brain. The ability to visualize and understand the intricate structures and dynamic processes within the brain is crucial for advancing our knowledge of its function, development, and degeneration, both in healthy and diseased states. During this talk, we will highlight the recent advancements in adaptive optics microscopy techniques developed in our laboratory and delve into their applications in neuroscience research. By combining the power of adaptive optics with the study of the nervous system, we aim to uncover new insights into its complexities and further our understanding of brain function.