Controller properties also largely influence these input dynamics: more advanced and more peptide expensive controllers can linearize laser outputs, in particular when coupled with optical feedback. Indeed, for experiments with both LEDs and lasers in which long-term stimulation may warrant heat dissipation, it is recommended that an optical feedback controller be used to
maintain consistency in optical stimulation output. High-intensity LEDs enable precise experimental standardization and repeatability while also retaining the high-intensity output and dynamic range that make lasers desirable for optogenetic experiments. Consequently, we designed our platform to make use of low-cost high intensity LEDs in optogenetic in vivo experiments in awake and behaving animals. To this end, we made use of commercially available high-intensity LEDs (Plexon Inc., Dallas, TX, USA; Figure Figure1D1D). Similar LEDs are available from other suppliers (Thorlabs, Newton, NJ, USA), and the cost of these is in a similar price range (∼$2000 total with current driver), which makes the cost of the total NeuroRighter system with optogenetics about $12,000. The 465 nm blue LED was controlled by a voltage-to-current controller (Plexon Inc.), and
output light along a patch fiber cable connected via FC/PC connection. The LED controller received input from one channel of the analog output from a NI SCB-68 screw-terminal connector box. This output ranged from 0 to 5 V, which was converted by the controller to 0–300 mA of current. This system was capable of driving 465 nm Blue LED light output at intensities of up to 80 mW/mm2 in custom-made implantable optical ferrules (Figure Figure1E1E) – well within the acceptable
window for non-damaging optical stimulation (Cardin et al., 2010). As each analog output of NeuroRighter can be accessed independently, four LEDs can be simultaneously controlled with NeuroRighter configuration on a single supported NI data acquisition card. The modular nature of the system enables the addition of additional NI data acquisition cards to increase the number of LED outputs, in addition to recording inputs. Custom-made implantable optical ferrules (Figure Figure1E1E) were Carfilzomib constructed from 1.25 mm long 230 μm inner diameter ceramic stick ferrules (Precision Fiber Products, Milpitas, CA, USA) in a fashion based on a previously well-described design (Sparta et al., 2012). 200 μm diameter 0.37 numerical aperture optical fiber (Thorlabs) was carefully stripped of its protective coating and cleaved. Heat-cure epoxy (Precision-Fiber Products) was mixed and applied to the concave end of the ferrule, through which the cleaved fiber segment was subsequently threaded. After wiping off the excess, a heat gun was applied to quickly cure the epoxy, and the ferrules were then allowed to finish curing overnight at room temperature.