Prof. Andrea Volterra and his team from the Department of Fundamental Neuroscience (UNIL) have pioneered a new approach allowing correct study of astrocyte-synapse-blood vessel interactions: 3D volumetric two-photon imaging. This method enables an unprecedented, comprehensive view of the multiform astrocyte activity.
Human brain activity can now be studied at a macroscopic level using techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Separate zones of our brain activated during specific tasks can thus be visualized. Additional microscopic studies using cell imaging techniques help to understand the functioning of the brain at a more fundamental level in animal models such as mice.
Erika Bindocci, Iaroslav Savtchouk, Nicolas Liaudet, Denise Becker, Giovanni Carriero, Andrea Volterra;
Three-dimensional Ca2+ imaging advances understanding of astrocyte biology.
Science 356(6339), May 2017. doi:10.1126/science.aai8185 >