PlexBright Optogenetic Stimulation System

The PlexBright® Optogenetic Stimulation System provides an innovative, economical, turnkey approach to effectively perform acute, chronic or in vitro optogenetic stimulation. The PlexBright System is Plexon’s fastest growing product line offering exceptionally high intensity LED Modules with the highest performance Optical Patch Cables in the industry.

Optogenetic techniques provide a long sought-after level of control over neural tissue – the ability to activate or silence specific brain regions or cell types with extreme precision.  However, it is only within the past decade that neuroscience has significantly harnessed optogenetic approaches to advance its frontiers. In 2004, Ed Boyden and Karl Deisseroth at Stanford University collaborated with George Nagel and others to perform the work considered to be the genesis of the field now known as optogenetics.

Laser-based light sources were the first to make inroads in in vivo optogenetic experimentation, due to their capability of delivering high levels of light into neural tissue via an optical fiber.  Drawbacks of laser systems included their high cost, complexity, controllability of light output, and their large footprint in a lab environment.

In more recent years, attention has turned to exploring LED-based systems to deliver light for optogenetic research.  Relative to lasers, LEDs offer stable light output, outstanding temporal precision, and may be manufactured at a lower cost.  The historically low-power output has been the Achilles heel of LEDs for neuroresearch – until now.

In a targeted effort to assist our customers advance into the realm of optogenetic research at an attractive quality level and a more reasonable price point, Plexon is pleased to announce that we have successfully advanced LED-based power output to meet – and often exceed – neuroresearch requirements.

Introducing the PlexBright Optogenetic Stimulation System which provides an innovative, economical, turnkey approach to effectively perform acute, chronic or in vitro optogenetic stimulation.  We invite you to learn more about the components that make up the PlexBright System:

PlexBright Starter Kits offer the initial products to get started and a 10% discount when purchased as a kit. Kits are available in four experimental designs and with either driver (the economical kit with the LD-1 Single Channel LED Driver or the fully functional kit with the 4 Channel Optogenetic Controller with Radiant Software).

The PlexBright System may either be operated as a stand-alone stimulation system, or enhanced by combining elements of Plexon’s Advanced In Vivo Neurophysiology Solution. If your experiments include freely behaving animals, you may also be interested in learning more about the CinePlex® and CineLAB® Behavioral Research Systems.

A Plexon Sales Engineer will be happy to talk with you regarding more information on any part of the PlexBright Optogenetic Stimulation System.

The table below outlines the basic elements of the PlexBright Optogenetic Stimulation System, while more detailed specifications are available on the corresponding product pages. Depending on your research needs, a complete system most often includes the following:

For an acute, head-fixed or in vitro experiment:

  • A driver (select the PlexBright 4 Channel Optogenetic Controller with Radiant™ software or the LD-1 Single Channel LED Driver),
  • At least one PlexBright Table-top LED Module (select a wavelength),
  • At least one PlexBright Optical Patch Cable with a Bare Fiber tip (select the shortest length possible for your experiment, one for each LED module to be used simultaneously),
  • A PlexBright Optical Fiber Cleaning Kit, and
  • An optional, yet very highly recommended, PlexBright Light Measurement Kit.

For an experiment using a freely behaving mouse or smaller animal:

  • A driver (select the PlexBright 4 Channel Optogenetic Controller with Radiant software or the LD-1 Single Channel LED Driver),
  • A commutator (select the NEW Carousel Commutator if combining optogenetic stimultation and neural recording with digital headstages, the PlexBright Dual LED + 16 Channel Commutator if you are combining optogenetic stimulation and neural recording with analog headstages, or the PlexBright Dual LED Commutator for optogenetics-only research),
  • At least one PlexBright Compact LED Module (select a wavelength),
  • At least one PlexBright Optical Patch Cable with an LC Ferrule tip (select the shortest length possible for your experiment, one for each LED module to be used simultaneously),
  • A box of PlexBright Fiber Stub Implants with an LC Ferrule to match the patch cable (select a fiber diameter and length),
  • A PlexBright Optical Fiber Cleaning Kit, and
  • An optional, yet very highly recommended, PlexBright Light Measurement Kit.

For an experiment using a freely behaving rat or larger animal:

  • A driver (select the PlexBright 4 Channel Optogenetic Controller with Radiant software or the PlexBright LD-1 Single Channel LED Driver),
  • A commutator (select the NEW Carousel Commutator if combining optogenetic stimultation and neural recording with digital headstages, the PlexBright Dual LED + 16 Channel Commutator if you are combining optogenetic stimulation and neural recording with analog headstages, or the PlexBright Dual LED Commutator for optogenetics-only research),
  • At least one PlexBright Compact LED Module (select a wavelength),
  • At least one PlexBright Optical Patch Cable with an FC Ferrule tip and stainless steel jacketing for reinforcement (select the shortest length possible for your experiment, one for each LED module to be used simultaneously),
  • A box of PlexBright Fiber Stub Implants with an FC Ferrule to match the patch cable (select a fiber diameter and length),
  • A PlexBright Optical Fiber Cleaning Kit, and
  • An optional, yet very highly recommended, PlexBright Light Measurement Kit.

PlexBright Quote Request Forms (also specific to the experimental set-up) include the Starter Kit itemization and individual parts for selection. The forms are available on the Resources tab, as well as on the Documentation page under the PlexBright header.

Feature Specifications and Options Remarks
PlexBright Starter Kits – Freely Behaving Mouse & Small Animal Kit
– Freely Behaving Rat & Large Animal Kit
– Head-fixed/Anesthetized Animal Kit
– In vitro Experiment Kit
Starter Kits offer the initial set-up products and a 10% discount when purchased as a kit. Kits are available in four experimental design set-ups and with either driver (the 4 Channel Optogenetic Controller with Radiant Software or the LD-1 Single-Channel LED Driver). Starter Kit details are listed on the PlexBright Quote Request Forms.
PlexBright drivers – PlexBright 4 Channel Optogenetic Controller, or
– PlexBright LD-1 Single Channel LED Driver.
The PlexBright 4 Channel Optogenetic Controller is a multichannel, pattern generating, software controlled device, while the PlexBright LD-1 Single Channel LED Driver is a more economical alternative.
PlexBright 4 ChannelOptogenetic Controller software Radiant™ Sophisticated pattern generator capable of controlling up to four PlexBright 4 Channel Optogenetic Controllers for a total of 16 independent channels.
Light sources controlled by the PlexBright 4 Channel Controller  LEDs or lasers
Number of PlexBright LED Modules simultaneously controlled per channel 1 or 2 Outputs on either driver/controller can operate a single PlexBright LED Module or two in which identical parameters are desired for both stimulation sites – such as with bilateral stimulation. A Series-Y BNC cable is required to operate two PlexBright LED Modules from a single channel.
PlexBright Commutators
– PlexBright Dual LED Commutator
– PlexBright Dual LED + 16 Channel Commutator for simultaneous use with analog headstages,
– Carousel Commutator for simultaneous use with digital headstages
– New PlexBright Dual LED + fluid swivel commutator
All support up to two specially designed, easily interchangeable, Compact LED Modules. The latter two commutators also enable simultaneous neural recording and are headstage-type specific.
PlexBright  LED Module Styles
– Table-top
– Compact
– New Head-Mounted
The Table-top style is generally used for head-fixed or in vitro experiments, or when a commutator is not needed with a freely behaving animal. The Compact or Head-Mounted style is generally used with either of the PlexBright commutators.
PlexBright LED Module wavelengths
Royal (450nm), Blue (465nm),Green (525nm), Lime (550nm), Yellow (590nm), Orange (620nm), Red (630nm), Crimson (660nm), Infrared (740-940nm), Ultraviolet (365-405nm)
465nm, 525nm and 620nm are the most often ordered modules.
The 550nm Lime LED offers attractive power and a broad activation spectrum to those targeting halorhodopsins and archaerhodopsins.
The NEW near-infrared LED modules for photothermal inhibition of neural activity and the NEW ultraviolet LED modules for Ca indicator and Lightregulated GABAA receptor (LiGABAR).
PlexBright Optical Patch Cable stimulation tip styles – Bare Fiber,
– LC Ferrule, or
– FC Ferrule
Bare Fiber tips are most often used for anesthetized, head-fixed or in vitro experiments; LC Ferrule tips are best suited for chronic experiments with rats or small animals; while FC Ferrule tips offer additional strength in chronic experiments for use with rats and stronger animals. Although researchers use both ferrule size tips with rats, it is highly recommended to  consider the stronger FC Ferrule tip as well as the stainless steel jacketing.
PlexBright Optical Patch Cable lengths 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5m Two configurations are available: PlexBright Optical Patch Cables for use with the standard PlexBright Table-top LED Modules with an especially robust connector, and a second configuration with a lighter-weight connector specific to the PlexBright Compact Modules used with freely behaving animals.
PlexBright Optical Patch Cable jacketing
– Stainless steel, mono-coil
– Stainless steel armored jacketing
An added protection from animals (chewing, etc.), or from researchers (over bending).  The especially, flexible, armored jacketing is only available on PlexBright Optical Patch Cables with an LC or FC Ferrule tip.
PlexBright Fiber Stub Implant lengths 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12mm
(available in boxes of 5 with a price break at 25 stubs)
PlexBright Fiber Stub Implants are used with the LC or FC ferrule-tipped PlexBright Optical Patch Cables when working with freely behaving animals that may be disconnected from time-to-time from the optical cable.
PlexBright Fiber Stub Ferrule sizes – LC Ferrule, or
– FC Ferrule
FC Ferrules are slightly larger and offer a bit more strength than LC Ferrules. Additionally, for a proper fit and optimal light transmission, the ferrule on the PlexBright Optical Patch Cable must match the ferrule on the PlexBright Fiber Stub Implant. For example, if the subject is an agitated rat, then the FC Ferrule Fiber Stub Implant is preferred, and then so is an PlexBright Optical Patch Cable with an FC Ferrule tip.
PlexBright Optical Fibers
– High Performance .66NA fiber, or
– New High Durability .5NA fiber
See LED power ouput tables for measured output of each fiber. at various points throughout the system.
PlexBright Fiber Stub Implant diameters – 110/125μm optical fiber, or
– 200/230μm optical fiber
The first number represents the core fiber diameter, while the second gives the total fiber diameter including the cladding. PlexBright Fiber Stub Implants utilize the same high performance optical fiber that is found in our PlexBright Optical Patch Cables. The smaller diameter fiber may be more appropriate when minimal tissue disturbance is of special concern and/or for small animals such as mice, while the larger fiber may be more advantageous if maximum power delivered to the tissue is especially important.
Accessories – PlexBright Light Measurement Kit
– PlexBright Optical Fiber Cleaning Kit
– PlexBright Series-Y BNC Cable
The PlexBright Light Measurement Kit ensures accurate output measurements of the custom drawn, high performance Plexbright optical fiber throughout the light path (unlikely to be accurately read without this kit and the contained adaptors).

The PlexBright Optical Fiber Cleaning Kit maximizes light transmission at fiber connections and extends the life of the fiber connection tips. It is recommended with the purchase of any of our PlexBright LED Modules, Optical Patch Cables and/or Fiber Stub Implants.

The PlexBright Series-Y BNC Cable enables the simultaneous operation of two PlexBright LED modules from a single driver/controller output (channel).

 

PlexBright LED Power Output at Various Points Throughout the Light Path

                               With High Performance Patch Cables 

LED Module At the
LED Module
At the tip of a 200/230µm, 0.66NA Patch Cable* At the tip of a 200/230µm, 0.66NA Fiber Stub** At the tip of a     110/125µm, 0.66NA
Fiber Stub***
Color
(Wavelength)
Measured Output Measured Output
(Normalized Output)
Measured Output
(Normalized Output)
Measured Output
(Normalized Output)
Royal
(450nm)
44.9mW

28.1mW
(894mW/mm2)
22.5mW
(715mW/mm2)
6.9mW
(724mW/mm2)
Blue
(465nm)
40.2mW
24.9mW
(792mW/mm2)
19.9mW
(634mW/mm2)
6.1mW
(645mW/mm2)
Green
(525nm)
11.8mW

7.8mW
(249mW/mm2)
6.2mW
(199mW/mm2)
1.9mW
(201mW/mm2)
Lime
(550nm)
19.8mW

11.5mW
(336mW/mm2)
9.2mW
(293mW/mm2)
2.8mW
(295mW/mm2)
Yellow
(590nm)
5.8mW

3.2mW
(102mW/mm2)
2.6mW
(82mW/mm2)
0.8mW
(83mW/mm2)
Orange
(620nm)
17.5mW

11.0mW
(349mW/mm2)
8.8mW
(279mW/mm2)
2.7mW
(283mW/mm2)
Red
(630nm)
19.5mW

11.8mW
(375mW/mm2)
9.4mW
(300mW/mm2)
2.9mW
(304mW/mm2)
Crimson
(660nm)
22.8mW

15.1mW
(476mW/mm2)
12.0mW
(381mW/mm2)
3.7mW
(386mW/mm2)
Infrared 1
(850nm)
21.3mW

13.2mW
(422mW/mm2)
10.6mW
(337mW/mm2)
3.2mW
(342mW/mm2)
Infrared 2
(940nm)
21.5mW

14.0mW
(445mW/mm2)
11.2mW
(356mW/mm2)
3.4mW
(360mW/mm2)
Near-Infrared 1
(740nm)
12.3mW
8.5mW
(270mW/mm2)
6.8mW
(216mW/mm2)
2.1mW
(219mW/mm2)
Near-Infrared 2
(760nm)
14.7mW 11.2mW
(356mW/mm2)
8.9mW
(285mW/mm2)
2.7mW
(288mW/mm2)
Near-Infrared 3
(780nm)
11.0mW 7.2mW
(228mW/mm2)
5.7mW
(182mW/mm2)
1.8mW
(184mW/mm2)
Near-Infrared 4
(810nm)
11.7mW 8.4mW
(268mW/mm2)
6.7mW
(215mW/mm2)
2.1mW
(217mW/mm2)
Ultraviolet 1
(365nm)
28.1mW 13.5mW
(430mW/mm2)
10.8mW
(344mW/mm2)
3.3mW
(348mW/mm2)
Ultraviolet 2
(385nm)
42.0mW 26.0mW
(829mW/mm2)
20.8mW
(663mW/mm2)
6.4mW
(672mW/mm2)
Ultraviolet 3
(405nm)
41.8mW 27.2mW
(865mW/mm2)
21.7mW
(692mW/mm2)
6.7mW
(701mW/mm2)

*Measured at the tip of a PlexBright High Performance Optical Patch Cable with a 200/230µm fiber 1.0m long.
**Measured at the tip of a PlexBright 200/230µm fiber diameter Fiber Stub Implant connected to a PlexBright High Performance Optical Patch Cable with a 200/230µm fiber 1.0m long.
***Measured at the tip of a PlexBright 110/125µm fiber diameter Fiber Stub Implant connected to a PlexBright High Performance Optical Patch Cable with a 200/230µm fiber 1.0m long.

 

PlexBright LED Power Output at Various Points Throughout the Light Path

                               With High Durability Patch Cables 

LED Module At the
LED Module
At the tip of a 200/230µm, 0.5NA Patch Cable* At the tip of a 200/230µm, 0.66NA Fiber Stub ** At the tip of a     110/125µm, 0.66NA
Fiber Stub***
Color
(Wavelength)
Measured Output Measured Output
(Normalized Output)
Measured Output
(Normalized Output)
Measured Output
(Normalized Output)
Royal
(450nm)
44.9mW

21.8mW
(694mW/mm2)
17.4mW
(554mW/mm2)
5.4mW
(569mW/mm2)
Blue
(465nm)
40.2mW
19.0mW
(605mW/mm2)
15.2mW
(484mW/mm2)
4.7mW
(495mW/mm2)
Green
(525nm)
11.8mW

5.8mW
(185mW/mm2)
4.6mW
(146mW/mm2)
2.4mW
(253mW/mm2)
Lime
(550nm)
19.8mW

10.1mW
(321mW/mm2)
8.1mW
(258mW/mm2)
2.5mW
(263mW/mm2)
Yellow
(590nm)
5.8mW

3.0mW
(95mW/mm2)
2.4mW
(76mW/mm2)
0.8mW
(84mW/mm2)
Orange
(620nm)
17.5mW

9.2mW
(293mW/mm2)
7.4mW
(236mW/mm2)
2.3mW
(242mW/mm2)
Red
(630nm)
19.5mW

9.7mW
(309mW/mm2)
7.7mW
(245mW/mm2)
2.4mW
(253mW/mm2)
Crimson
(660nm)
22.8mW

11.5mW
(366mW/mm2)
9.1mW
(290mW/mm2)
2.8mW
(295mW/mm2)
Infrared 1
(850nm)
21.3mW

10.7mW
(341mW/mm2)
8.6mW
(274mW/mm2)
2.6mW
(274mW/mm2)
Infrared 2
(940nm)
21.5mW

10.4mW
(331mW/mm2)
8.3mW
(264mW/mm2)
2.5mW
(263mW/mm2)
Near-Infrared 1
(740nm)
12.3mW
6.5mW
(206mW/mm2)
5.2mW
(165mW/mm2)
1.6mW
(163mW/mm2)
Near-Infrared 2
(760nm)
14.7mW 7.8mW
(250mW/mm2)
6.3mW
(200mW/mm2)
1.9mW
(198mW/mm2)
Near-Infrared 3
(780nm)
11.0mW 5.7mW
(180mW/mm2)
4.5mW
(144mW/mm2)
1.4mW
(143mW/mm2)
Near-Infrared 4
(810nm)
11.7mW 6.1mW
(195mW/mm2)
4.9mW
(325mW/mm2)
1.5mW
(154mW/mm2)
Ultraviolet 1
(365nm)
28.1mW 15.4mW
(489mW/mm2)
12.3mW
(391mW/mm2)
3.7mW
(388mW/mm2)
Ultraviolet 2
(385nm)
42.0mW 23.0mW
(732mW/mm2)
18.4mW
(586mW/mm2)
5.5mW
(581mW/mm2)
Ultraviolet 3
(405nm)
41.8mW 22.5mW
(717mW/mm2)
18.0mW
(573mW/mm2)
5.4mW
(569mW/mm2)

*Measured at the tip of a PlexBright High Durability Optical Patch Cable with a 200/230µm fiber 1.0m long.   

**Measured at the tip of a PlexBright 200/230µm fiber diameter Fiber Stub Implant connected to a PlexBright High Durability Optical Patch Cable with a 200/230µm fiber 1.0m long.

***Measured at the tip of a PlexBright 110/125µm fiber diameter Fiber Stub Implant connected to a PlexBright High Durability Optical Patch Cable with a 200/230µm fiber 1.0m long.

PlexBright LED Power Output With Head-Mounted LED Modules 

LED Module At the
LED Module
At the tip of a 200/230µm, 0.66NA Fiber Stub (No patch cable required)
Color
(Wavelength/Max Current)
Measured Output Measured Output
(Normalized Output)
Head-Mounted Blue
(465nm/300mA)
62.2mW
21.8mW
(693mW/mm2)
Head-Mounted Green
(525nm/300mA)
19.1mW

6.7mW
(213mW/mm2)
Head-Mounted Lime
(550nm/500mA)
33.3mW

11.7mW
(371mW/mm2)
Head-Mounted Orange
(620nm/250mA)
33.9mW

11.9mW
(378mW/mm2)

For more detailed information, you are encouraged to visit the web pages for the PlexBright 4 Channel Optogenetic Controller, PlexBright LD-1 Single Channel LED Driver, PlexBright LED Modules, PlexBright Commutators, PlexBright Optical Patch Cables, PlexBright Fiber Stub Implants, and the PlexBright Light Measurement Kit. Additionally, you may find the complete PlexBright Optogenetic Stimulation System Guide on the Resources tab.

A Plexon Sales Engineer can help you determine the best optogenetic system configuration to meet your research goals.