Light stimulation plate demo MWP

Zantiks MWP units delivered from January 2021 include a light stimulation plate as standard. This stand acts as a light diffusing stand (for tracking) and as an additional bright light source, with brightness control. It is useful for optogenetic stimulation or initiation of a startle response. It comes with an LED light source for a variety of different wavelengths, including white, blue, and green (Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements).

There is a fairly even brightness across the light plate and we have confirmed that the plate can stimulate zebrafish larvae and adult Drosophila. However, we recommend full validation of stimulation performance in different wells for your test animals.

For assembly instructions, please refer to the MWP Introduction manual.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have a MWP Z1 unit (delivered prior to Jan 2021), please see the LIGHT STAND DEMO MWP Z1 page for instructions on how to script and use the Z1 light stand.


Light stimulation plate Z2

Here you will find operation instructions for the second generation MWP light stimulation plate.

The light stimulation plate can provide a much brighter light than the overhead lights in the range of 3,000 - 10,000 lux. We offer a range of wavelengths which can be found here. The different colour wavelengths will differ in lux intensity.


Key commands for operating the light stimulation plate


These two lines of code enable output of voltage and sets the voltage at 10000mv, which leads to the stand being off. Lowering the voltage to below about 4000mv enables the system to be high power and the light will be at full brightness. Gradually increasing the voltage reduces the LED brightness.


SET(GPO3,0) and SET(GPO4,0) switch the specified LED output to 'off'. Setting both of these to off results in the light stand being controlled by the 'VOLTAGE_LEVEL' on 'VOLTAGE4' above.


Turning GPO4 on by setting it to 1, sets light stand to about half power




Turning GPO3 on by setting it to 1 sets light stand to full power. If GPO4 is also set to 1, the half power is overruled and the plate remains at full power.

By turning on/off GPO3 and GPO4 in various combinations, you can control light pulses at different brightness and duration. For example, if using (GPO3,0) and (GPO4,0) so that the light is off you can use the following code:


This ZCOMMAND changes GPO3 from off to on (G3#1) which switches the stand to full brightness, waits a period of 10ms (P10), before switching GPO3 back to 0 (G3#0) which turns the light stand back off. This sequence will produce a light pulse of 10ms. By increasing or decreasing the value of P in this line of code you may increase or decrease the duration of the light pulse.

The script provides examples of the various types of light or dark pulse that can be produced by varying the GPO3, GPO4, and P values. The script will run a sequence of light pulses at increasing length, followed by a sequence of dark pulses, the stand at full brightness with pulses at a dimmer light, the stand at a dimmer light with pulses at full brightness, and finally a gradual decrease in brightness by varying voltage.

Demonstration of the light_stim_demo_MWP_Z2.zs sample script for the Z2 light stand plate


Script download Z2

To download the light_stim_demo_MWP_Z2 demo scripts as .zs files (file type Zantiks software reads), choose the Save File As option in the right-click dialogue box. Clicking on the script name hyperlink will open a read-only version of the script.

Script download:

Note: Try running this script with the system plugged in to see how control can work for both length of stimulus (e.g., set by P10, P50), by changing the brightness with GP03 and GP04, or by varying the voltage.


Overhead Light Stimulation Plate

The overhead light stimulation plate is an optional add on for the MWP system which allows you to use the same bright LEDs of a specific wavelength, which are used with the standard light stimulation plate, to provide light from above rather than from below. The intention of the overhead light stimulation plate is for it to be used in place of the standard light stimulation plate. In this case, you can use the same coding as outlined above for the light stimulation plate using the Z2 loop. 

The overhead light stimulation plate can however be used to offer light from both above and below simultaneously, using either the same wavelength LEDs or two different wavelengths. In this case, you can choose to use the Z2 loop for one of the LEDs with the coding outlined above, and an LED adapter cable to plug the second set into CN7 or CN8 on the top box. It is worth noting that plugging the LEDs into CN7 or CN8 will not provide as bright a light as the Z2 loop can offer. As such, if you are using LEDs both above and below, you may choose to use an LED adapter for both and use CN7 and CN8 together.

Plugging the LEDs into CN7 and/or CN8 will allow you to further reduce the brightness by turning on all 3 of the LED lights in the LED holder or just one or two of them.

Setup of the overhead light stimulation plate and the various orientations for plugging in the LEDs can be found in the MWP manual


Script explanation for overhead light stimulation in CN7 and CN8 

To use the LEDs in CN7 or CN8 with the LED adapters you will not need to set a voltage, GP03 or GP04. You will only need to run a Zcommand. 

ZCOMMAND("N1#7, P32, N1#0")
ZCOMMAND("N2#7, P32, N2#0")

In the above lines of code: 

  • N1 refers to LEDs plugged into CN8 
  • N2 refers to LEDs plugged into CN7 
  • #7 - turns on all 3 LEDs. Having all three on provides the brightest light that can be achieved when using the LED adapter cable rather than the Z2 loop. 
  • #0 - turns all 3 LEDs off. 
  • P - pause in between turning the LEDs on and turning them off again. The pause is in milliseconds.
ZCOMMAND("N1#3, P32, N1#0")
ZCOMMAND("N1#1, P32, N1#0")

The above commands turn on fewer LEDs to provide a reduced brightness. Both commands have been written for CN8 (N1)

  • #3 - turns on 2 of the LEDs. Provides a mid level of illumination.
  • #1 - turns on 1 of the LEDs. Provides the dimmest level of illumination.
ZCOMMAND("N1#7,N2#7, P32, N1#0,N2#0")

The above line of code will turn on LEDs at full power for both CN8 and CN7 simultaneously, pause for 32ms then turn off LEDs plugged into CN8 and CN7.  


Overhead light stimulation in CN7 & CN8 script download 

To download the overhead_light_stim_demo script as a .zs file (file type Zantiks software reads), choose the Save File As option in the right-click dialogue box. Clicking on the script name hyperlink will open a read-only version of the script.

Script download: overhead_light_stim_demo.zs