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I just discovered voltage sensitive dyes technique: first of all what imaging techniques do we use? And I have seen that figures are labeled with ΔF/F0, what does it stands for?

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  • $\begingroup$ As for imaging method, many kinds of fluorescence microscopes can been used (two-photon, confocal, widefield, etc.). Depends what spatial scale you're interested in (e.g. subcellular compartments vs. large patches of cortex) and the context of the measurements (e.g. cell culture vs. behaving animals). $\endgroup$ – user20160 May 26 '16 at 6:13
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Since these are fluorescent dyes, the most likely method of use is with some sort of fluorescent (likely confocal) microscope. The various types of dyes have different hydrophobic tails, so they target different types of membranes (plasma membrane, mitochondrial membranes, etc.). An excitatory light source (typically a laser, with a single wavelength) is applied to the sample, and the $F_0$ or baseline fluorescence intensity at time zero is measured. When an event happens, such as the contraction of a muscle, the $\Delta F$ or change in fluorescence intensity is measured. This difference is then divided by the baseline, and called the fractional fluorescence (${\Delta F}/{F_0}$). It is plotted like so:

ΔF/F0

Bu G et al. Biophys J. 2009 Mar 18;96(6):2532-46.

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