Optogenetics in action, small wireless mouse to control LEDs in their neurons

One of the most promising science future is optogenetics that allows brain cells turn on and off with pulses of light that can be controlled very accurately. So far one of the difficulties was precisely to carry these impulses to neurons in animals like mice with which they are working, but now there is a solution to that problem.

TechnologyResearchers at Stanford University have succeeded in establishing small LED devices under the skin of mice that allow just send those electrical impulses and avoid the bulky helmets that were used previously. GM neurons to respond to these signals can be controlled with this type of mechanism, which opens the door to the study of brain anatomy or study dysfunctions that occur in human disease.

So far this type of devices optogenetics were too complex and heavy, but new developments weigh between 20 and 50 milligrams and its small dimensions that can be implemented not only in the brain but also in the spine or members Animal for optogenetic simulation experiment with e.g. the spine and peripheral nerves.

During research three experiments which showed the ability of these devices were carried out. In one of them they stimulated the right premotor cortex, causing the mouse to move in circles. In another experiment they discovered how they could simulate the sensation of pain in mice, which could be in two cameras, this time choosing the bit where his legs were installed, where these receptors, which are activated only in one of them-not him They ached.

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