In application, Blog, product

Check out this OASIS Implant customer highlight focused on Huanhuan Li. Huanhuan spoke with Mightex Applications Scientist, Dr Catherine Thomas, about his doctoral work using the OASIS Implant to conduct in vivo Ca2+ imaging of somatostatin-expressing cell activity in the cingulate cortex during social interaction test in freely moving mice.


Huanhuan Li

PhD Candidate, Hong Kong City University, Hong Kong

Huanhuan is a final year PhD student in the Department of Neuroscience at the City University of Hong Kong. He is supervised by Dr. Geoffrey Lau. Huanhuan recently received the joint second prize in our Mightex Annual Research Excellence Award for the research outlined above. We look forward to continuing to support Huanhuan’s research in the future!



The cingulate cortex is a key brain region in the limbic system that coordinates actions and motivated behaviours. Somatostatin-expressing GABAergic neurons in the cingulate cortex (CCSST) can provide powerful inhibition to the cingulate cortex circuitry through high basal activity and synchronized firing [1].  However, it remains unknown how CCSST cells contribute to motivational behaviour such as social interaction.

The Lau lab is particularly interested in understanding the dynamic changes of inhibitory neurons in response to reward as well as stress. Huanhuan found that a subset of CCSST cells was recruited upon social stimuli in the three-chambered social interaction test (Figure 1A, B)


To visualize CCSST neuronal activation in the spatio-temporal and cellular resolutions, Huanhuan conducted in vivo mesolscale imaging to measure  Ca2+ activity of CCSST cells. Using the Mightex OASIS implant during his behavioural task, Huanhuan was able to combine high quality imaging data collection with preserved naturalistic behaviours, namely social interaction (Figure 1C).


To examine the relationship between social interaction and CC neural activity, they placed two male mice in an open field and measured the time spent by the mice interacting with each other as well as the distance between them, while recording the response simultaneously (Video 1). In the reciprocal social interaction test, CCSST neuronal activity was persistently elevated during both passive and active social interactions — CCSST neurons were activated when the intruder and resident mice were in close distance (Figure 1D).


Video 1. Split screen video of calcium imaging data of cingulate cortex somatostatin positive neurons (left)

and corresponding social interaction behaviour (right)

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