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LED Light source

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LED Light source

The Thomas RECORDING LED light source for optogenetic experiments is a high brightness LED unit (see figure 1). It consists of a compact package to couple a high power LED to our TREC optical fibers without significant loss of light. The package is equipped with an effective aluminum heat sink to ensure thermal stability of the LED light source.

Key features:
  • High brightness LED technique
  • Small and lightweight
  • Optimal coupling of optical fiber
  • Different colors available (e.g. blue, green ,etc.)
  • Adapters for stereotaxic instruments available
  • Mounted close to the recording setup with customized holder (optional available)
  • LED Control Unit (Constant-current power supply available)
Technical Data
Max. continuous current700mA
Max. pulsed current 1000mA
Max. absolute fiber output power3.5mW
(108μm core TREC fiber, na=0.86, blunt fiber tip shape) 
Max. relative fiber output power382mW/sqmm


In comparison to laser light sources for optogenetic applications the Thomas LED light sources offer stable light output, better temporal precision and can be produced at lower costs. Although the LED light source have lower power Output than laser light sources, Thomas RECORDING has successfully advanced LED light output power to meet and exceed the requirements for optogenetic applications.

We deliver our LED light sources (see figure 1) with all required accessories like connection cable and TREC fiber optic adapter. The LED light source is available for different light colors.

Figure 1: Thomas high brightness LED light source 

The Thomas LED light source is small (32 x 35 x 54mm) and lightweight (42g). The small size and weight allows an easy mounting of this light source to a microdrive system. An optical stimulation and  recording setup using a Thomas LED light source mounted to 7 channel multielectrode manipulator type “Eckhorn Matrix” is shown in figure 2. The Eckhorn Matrix is loaded with one optical fiber (OD=120µm) and 6 microelelctrodes (OD=80µm).   

Figure 2: Thomas high brightness LED light source mounted to a 7 channel fiber microelectrode manipulator type “Eckhorn Matrix”. This configuration allows to drive one optical fiber and up to 6 RECORDING electrodes independently from each other to different depths of the brain.

For researchers using manual electrode manipulators we offer a special light source holder as shown in figure 3. This photo shows a Thomas LED light source and an optical fiber mounted to a manual electrode Manipulator.     

Figure 3: Thomas high brightness LED light source mounted to a standard single electrode holder 

Figure 4 shows a Thomas LED light source mounted to a 5 electrode “Mini Matrix” microdrive. This unit allows to drive an optical fiber and up to 4 microelectrodes independently from each other to different depths of the brain. This is an ideal technique for optogenetic Experiments in cortical or deep brain targets. The optical fiber (OD=120µm) as well as the microelectrodes (OD=80µm) have conical tip shapes which reduces tissue damage in the target nucleus to a minimum.  

Figure 4: Thomas high brightness LED light source mounted to a fiber microelectrode Manipulator type “Mini Matrix”

A LED light source control unit is available (see figure 5). We use a constant-current control unit for our LED light sources. This control unit delivers up to 1000mA constant-current for a single LED module and guarantees a stable and reproducible light emission.  

Our fiber-coupled LED light sources are optimized for optogenetics applications. We offer a variety of wavelength choices and a convenient interconnection between fiber and light source.  

Figure 5: Thomas LED light source control unit


[5] Durand-de Cutolli R., Mondoloni S., Marti F., Lemoine D., Ngyen C., Naudé J., D’Izarny-Gargas T., Pons S., Maskos U., Trauner D., Kramer R. H., Faure P., Mourot A.
Manipulating midbrain dopamine neurons and reward-related behaviors with light-controllable nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. eLife 2018;7;e37487, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.37487

[4] Chaves-Coira I., Rodrigo-Angulo M., Núñez Á.
Bilateral Pathways from the Basal Forebrain to Sensory Cortices May Contribute to Synchronous Sensory Processing. Fron. Neuroanat., 12:5, DOI: 10.3389/fnana.2018.00005

[3] Casas-torremocha D., Clascá F., Núñez Á.
Posterior Thalamic Nucleus Modulation of Tactile Stimuli Processing in Rat Motor and Primary Somatosensory Corices. Front. Neural Circuits, 11:69, 2017, DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2017.00069

[2] Chaves-Coira I., Barros-Zulaica N., Rodrigo-Angulo M., Núñez Á.
Modulation of Specific Sensory Cortical Areas by Segregated Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons Demonstrated by Neuronal Tracing and Optogenetic Stimulation in Mice
Front. Neural Circuits Volume 10, Article 28 (April 20, 2016) doi: 10.3389/fncir.2016.00028
Click here for open access full text on frontiers in Neural Circuits

[1] Maejima T., Wollenwbeer P., Teusner LUC, Noebels JL, Herlitze S., Mark MD.
Postnatal Loss of P/Q-type Channels confined to Rhombic Lip Derived Neuros alters Synaptic Transmission at the Parallel Fiber to Purkinje Cell Synapse and Replicates Genomic Cacna1a Mutation Phenotype of Ataxia and Seizures in Mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013, 33(12), 5162-5174, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5442-12.2013

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