Label-Free Vibrational Spectroscopic Imaging of Neuronal Membrane Potential

Hyeon Jeong Lee, Delong Zhang, Ying Jiang, Xiangbing Wu, Pei Yu Shih, Chien Sheng Liao, Brittani Bungart, Xiao Ming Xu, Ryan Drenan, Edward Bartlett, Ji Xin Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Detecting membrane potentials is critical for understanding how neuronal networks process information. We report a vibrational spectroscopic signature of neuronal membrane potentials identified through hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) imaging of patched primary neurons. High-speed SRS imaging allowed direct visualization of puff-induced depolarization of multiple neurons in mouse brain slices, confirmed by simultaneous calcium imaging. The observed signature, partially dependent on sodium ion influx, is interpreted as ion interactions on the CH3 Fermi resonance peak in proteins. By implementing a dual-SRS balanced detection scheme, we detected single action potentials in electrically stimulated neurons. These results collectively demonstrate the potential of sensing neuronal activities at multiple sites with a label-free vibrational microscope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1932-1936
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 4 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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