Hybrid upconversion nanomaterials for optogenetic neuronal control

Shreyas Shah, Jing Jing Liu, Nicholas Pasquale, Jinping Lai, Heather McGowan, Zhiping P. Pang, Ki Bum Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nanotechnology-based approaches offer the chemical control required to develop precision tools suitable for applications in neuroscience. We report a novel approach employing hybrid upconversion nanomaterials, combined with the photoresponsive ion channel channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), to achieve near-infrared light (NIR)-mediated optogenetic control of neuronal activity. Current optogenetic methodologies rely on using visible light (e.g. 470 nm blue light), which tends to exhibit high scattering and low tissue penetration, to activate ChR2. In contrast, our approach enables the use of 980 nm NIR light, which addresses the short-comings of visible light as an excitation source. This was facilitated by embedding upconversion nanomaterials, which can convert NIR light to blue luminescence, into polymeric scaffolds. These hybrid nanomaterial scaffolds allowed for NIR-mediated neuronal stimulation, with comparable efficiency as that of 470 nm blue light. Our platform was optimized for NIR-mediated optogenetic control by balancing multiple physicochemical properties of the nanomaterial (e.g. size, morphology, structure, emission spectra, concentration), thus providing an early demonstration of rationally-designing nanomaterial-based strategies for advanced neural applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16571-16577
Number of pages7
JournalNanoscale
Volume7
Issue number40
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Hybrid upconversion nanomaterials for optogenetic neuronal control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this