Window to the Brain

 

Tower Optical Corporation is a partner to the most demanding and innovative organizations focused on improving man’s quality of life. These organizations have come to rely upon Tower Optical Corporation to find cost effective solutions and provide them with quality optical products and services in a timely manner.

NIH Director Francis S. Collins has been quoted as stating that “The human brain is the most complicated biological structure in the known universe. We’ve only just scratched the surface in understanding how it works – or, unfortunately, doesn’t quite work when disorders and disease occur… This is just the beginning of a 12-year journey and we’re excited to be starting the ride.”

The BRAIN Initiative was launched in 2013 with the intention to do for neuroscience what the Human Genome Project did for genomics by supporting the development and application of innovative technologies that can create a dynamic understanding of brain function. It aims to help researchers uncover the mysteries of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, depression, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

With funding being granted to research programs in more than half of the states, the US Government is leading efforts through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help researchers uncover the mysteries of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, depression, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).



Approved by “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” (eighth edition, National Academy of Sciences, 2011) a cranial window is employed that allows direct observation of the cortical surface of the brain in laboratory animals. Traditional microscopy techniques are used to image the superficial cortical layers of the brain through the observation window installed in the animal’s skull.



When using Multiphoton Microscopy, a high-energy, ultrafast laser penetrates the spectral window. For this discipline a craniotomy is preformed and sealed with cover glass to expose the brain. Enhancing this technique a micro prism is located beneath the cover glass and acts like a “micro periscope” enabling the researchers to simultaneously view all six cortical layers. This approach targets deeper imaging in the cortex often achieved by use of micro prisms from Tower Optical Corporation.

Many independent and academic researchers have found that glass windows and micro prisms from Tower Optical Corporation exceed their expectations. Produced from a pure amorphous material the window from Tower Optical Corporation is finished to an exact surface condition and parallelism which facilitates the surgical installation and augments application use. The nature of this research requires a large population of laboratory subjects. Research laboratories rely upon Tower Optical Corporation to repeatedly provide uniform windows enabling swift and repetitive surgical implantations on a large population. The surgical implantation of the craniula can be completed in 30-45 minutes and images can be acquired immediately and for several months thereafter. The technique is minimally invasive and permits serial injections directly to the brain, thereby allowing longitudinal imaging studies.

Tower Optical Corporation is proud to assist in the quest for knowledge in brain disorders and the eventual treatment of the diseased, injured, elderly, athletes and veteran warriors within our society who are suffering with such unfortunate afflictions.


Founded in 1978, Tower Optical Corporation has operated under its present ownership since 1997. It is a registered Service Disabled, Veteran Owned, Small Business that is ISO certified for ISO 9001:2008 and SAE 9100 Rev B compliant. Its customers represent a broad variety of national and international companies and industries including military, aircraft, aerospace, medical, process measurement and control, university researchers and key U.S. Department of Defense contractors. Tower Optical Corporation is a USA domestic based glass fabricator and is registered with the U.S. State Department to obtain export licenses as required. Visit us at www.toweroptical.com .