NINscope Sensor Assembly

Founding developers Andres de Groot, Joop Bos, John van Veldhuijzen, Joris Coppens and Tycho Hoogland

Founding developers Andres de Groot, Joop Bos, John van Veldhuijzen, Joris Coppens and Tycho Hoogland

The Mechatronics department, De Zeeuw and Willuhn labs at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience with Tycho Hoogland as main coordinator developed the NINscope.It is based on the design pioneered by Mark Schnitzer's Lab at Stanford and published in Nature Methods in 2011. The NINscope builds on the work by the UCLA Miniscope Team and uses the UCLA Miniscope DAQ v3.2 with only minor modifications.

NINscope is a super light-weight (~1.6 gm) open-source miniscope with a small footprint that incorporates an imaging sensor, capability to monitor 3D-acceleration and permits remote optogenetic stimulation. The Ninscope's compact design allows it to be utilized in experiments that require recording from two regions concurrently in freely behaving mice e.g.cerebellum and cerebral cortex.


  • Optogenetic stimulation
  • Accelerometer read-out
  • Superficial and deep brain imaging
  • Able to record from two locations in bi-hemispheric (6-7 mm inter-baseplate distance, 45-50 degree angle) or rostral-caudal (8 mm inter-baseplate distance,15-20 degree angle) configurations


  • Fully-soldered imaging sub-assembly consisting of: interface board, image board and LED
  • Python 480 ONSEMI CMOS sensor
  • 30 Hz framerate 
  • LSM6DSL Inertial Measurment Unit (IMU) at 104 Hz
  • Data acquisition software compatible with Linux, MacOS and Windows 


  • Electronics sub-assembly consisting of image board, interface board, LED board and coaxial cable that connects to the Ninscope DAQ


      De Groot A, Van den Boom BJG, Van Genderen RM, Coppens J, Van Veldhuijzen J, Bos J, Hoedemaker H, Negrello M, Willuhn I, De Zeeuw C, Hoogland T. (2020). NINscope: a versatile miniscope for multi-region circuit investigations. eLife

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