In vivo imaging of mouse brain vasculature typically requires applying skull window opening techniques: open-skull cranial window or thinned-skull cranial window. We report non-invasive 3D in vivo cerebral blood flow imaging of C57/BL mouse by the use of ultra-high sensitive optical microangiography (UHS-OMAG) and Doppler optical microangiography (DOMAG) techniques to evaluate two cranial window types based on their procedures and ability to visualize surface pial vessel dynamics. Application of the thinned-skull technique is found to be effective in achieving high quality images for pial vessels for short-term imaging, and has advantages over the open-skull technique in available imaging area, surgical efficiency, and cerebral environment preservation. In summary, thinned-skull cranial window serves as a promising tool in studying hemodynamics in pial microvasculature using OMAG or other OCT blood flow imaging modalities.
Li, Y., Baran, U., & Wang, R. K. (2014). Application of thinned-skull cranial window to mouse cerebral blood flow imaging using optical microangiography. PLoS ONE, 9(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0113658