Interest in the interaction between laser light and biological samples has gained momentum in recent years, particularly in neurobiology, where there is significant potential to stimulate neurons with infrared laser light. Despite recent reports showing the application of infrared light for neurostimulation, the underlying mechanism is still unknown. The two main hypotheses are based on thermal or electrostatic mechanisms. Here, a novel optical method is presented to make temperature measurements in human neural cells under infrared laser excitation (λ=800nm) using the dye Rhodamine B (RhB). The measurement of temperature is based on the property of RhB, a fluorescent dye whose fluorescence intensity decreases linearly with increases in temperature. We present and detail the setup and measurement procedure that has temporal resolution of few milliseconds, based around a fluorescent live-cell imaging microscope used for cellular microfluorimetry experiments.
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