Photolysis of Caged Neurotransmitters: Theory and Procedures for Light Delivery

Cha‐Min Tang1

1 Baltimore VA Medical Center and University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Unit Number:  Unit 6.21
DOI:  10.1002/0471142301.ns0621s37
Online Posting Date:  November, 2006
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Photolysis of “caged” compounds is a technique for releasing biologically active compounds in which the timing, rate, and spatial profile of release are controlled by light. Issues relating to the delivery of light for single‐photon photolysis are presented. Specific discussions include the theories relating to how light interacts with biological tissue to produce scattering and phototoxicity, as well as the issues involved in choosing the appropriate light source. Several approaches and optical designs are presented for delivering the output of a laser to a microscopic specimen. The criteria for choosing an approach are presented. The commercial sources for the parts needed to build a photolysis system are also provided. This unit will be particularly useful for investigators interested in single‐photon photolysis of caged neurotransmitters in brain slices.

Keywords: photolysis; single‐photon photolysis; laser photolysis; caged glutamate

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Table of Contents

  • Tissue Optics
  • Light Source for Photolysis
  • Delivery of The Light Pulse
  • Basic Safety Precautions
  • Sources of Instruments And Supplies
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
PDF or HTML at Wiley Online Library


PDF or HTML at Wiley Online Library



Literature Cited

Literature Cited
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