We propose a new paradigm for dense functional imaging of brain activity to surmount the limitations of present methodologies. We term this approach “integrated neurophotonics”; it combines recent advances in microchip-based integrated photonic and electronic circuitry with those from optogenetics. This approach has the potential to enable lens-less functional imaging from within the brain itself to achieve dense, large-scale stimulation and recording of brain activity with cellular resolution at arbitrary depths. We perform a computational study of several prototype 3D architectures for implantable probe-array modules that are designed to provide fast and dense single-cell resolution (e.g., within a 1-mm3 volume of mouse cortex comprising ∼100,000 neurons). We describe progress toward realizing integrated neurophotonic imaging modules, which can be produced en masse with current semiconductor foundry protocols for chip manufacturing. Implantation of multiple modules can cover extended brain regions. Moreaux et al. describe a new paradigm for dense functional imaging of brain activity that surmounts limitations of present methodologies. It enables functional imaging from within the brain, permitting dense, large-scale brain circuit interrogation with cellular resolution at arbitrary depths.
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