Genetically Encoded Voltage Indicators (GEVIs)

Type: Molecular / Cellular,

Keywords: GEVIs, Imaging Probe, Genetic Probe, Biosensor, Light-Emitting Protein Sensor, Optical Sensor, Fluorescence Imaging, Neuroengineering, Optogenetic Recording Tool, Biological Indicator, Optophysiology, In Vivo Voltage Monitor

GEVIs: engineered protein-sensor to monitor the electrical dynamics of individual neurons Molecular technologies: Genetically encoded indicators for monitoring voltage in vivo (GEVIs)

We are developing genetically encoded indicators for monitoring voltage in vivo (GEVIs). Our tools can use the same wavelengths and equipment as used for imaging calcium indicators. We are open to new collaborators to deploy or benchmark these indicators for new applications, model systems, and/or imaging modalities.

* Engineered light-emitting protein sensors
* Combines the advantages of light and genetics to track neuronal voltage dynamics
* Optimally bright, photostable and less cytotoxic
* Use the same wavelengths and equipment as used for imaging calcium indicators
* Direct measurement of neuronal electrical activity with cellular resolution and increased fidelity
* Less invasive, better targeted, and greater multisite monitoring of neuronal activity
* Monitoring the voltage dynamics of individual neurons, from synaptic inputs to axonal outputs, is critical for understanding the neural processes that underlie behavior
* Imaging can allow tracking of voltage signals with higher spatial resolution and from multiple subcellular locations, neighboring neurons, or brain areas. Optical methods can also more easily record voltage from small subcellular areas, such as dendritic spines

* Measured electrical activity in Drosophila mushroom body output neuron dendrites and Kenyon cell axons and identified new sleep-promoting and wake-promoting cells and microcircuits
* Small size of the fly brain and restricted GEVI expression allows cellular resolution optical recordings with wide-field microscopy
* Used to probe the electrical spiking of E. coli bacteria, and human stem-cell derived cardiomyocyte

* To report neuronal voltage dynamics as changes in brightness

* In situ physiological studies in all key model systems as worms, zebrafish, Drosophila, mice

* Applicable on wide model systems and/or imaging modalities
* Compatible for in vivo applications with microscopy techniques for deep tissue imaging
* Show neuron signals with subcellular spatial resolution
* Compatible for measuring large-scale voltage dynamics
* Utilizes cell type-specific promoters for selective labeling of specific cell types

* Differential expression and/or performance of GEVIs in different model systems
* Capable for imaging the signals of only a few individual neurons simultaneously in vivo
* Requires improved photostability and spatiotemporal resolution
* Need 2-photon imaging optimized probes to achieve better cellular resolution in deeper layers of the tissue

* Should be able to detect various signals
* Should be sensitive and efficient
* Should be compatible with available imaging modalities (single or two photon microscopy methods)

* Molecular chimeras between voltage sensitive and optical (i.e. fluorescent) proteins


Francois St-Pierre, Assistant Professor


Baylor College of Medicine



NSF (DBI-1707359)
NIH 1R01EB027145-01A1 & 1U01NS113294-01 (Recent BRAIN Initiative funding award) F. S.-P. is supported by the McNair Medical Foundation