During the last decade, optogenetics has become an essential tool for the investigation of neural signaling due to its unique capability of selective neural modulation or monitoring. As specific types of neuronal cells can be genetically modified to express opsin proteins, optogenetics enables optical stimulation or inhibition of the selected neurons. There have been several technological advances in the optical system for optogenetics. Recently, it was proposed to combine the optical waveguide for light delivery with electrophysiological recording to simultaneously monitor the neural responses to optogenetic stimulation or inhibition. In this study, an implantable optrode array (2x2 optical fibers) was developed with embedded multichannel electrodes. A light-emitting diode (LED) was employed as a light source, and a microfabricated microlens array was integrated to provide sufficient light power at the tip of the optical fibers. The optrode array system comprises the disposable part and the reusable part. The disposable part has optical fibers and electrodes, while the reusable part has the LED and electronic circuitry for light control and neural signal processing. The novel design of the implantable optrode array system is introduced in the accompanying video in addition to the procedure of the optrode implantation surgery, optogenetic light stimulation, and the electrophysiological neural recording. The results of in vivo experiments successfully showed time-locked neural spikes evoked by the light stimuli from hippocampal excitatory neurons of mice.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Convergent Technology R&D Program for Human Augmentation through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2019M3C1B8090805), and supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (no. 2019R1A2C1088909). We thank Seung-Hee Lee's laboratory at the Department of Biological Sciences, KAIST, Daejeon, Korea, for kindly providing the transgenic mice.
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