Optogenetics, Tools and Applications in Neurobiology

Parisa Mahmoudi, Hadi Veladi, Firooz Ghaderi Pakdel



Comprehension of the brain function can be helpful for therapy of neurodegenerative diseases. The brain consists of various types of neuron sets, which organize in three-dimensional complex networks and form neural circuits underlying different behaviors. The circuits act based on the patterns that encode the brain functions. Recognition of the neural patterns requires methods to manipulate the neurons. Electrical stimulation may be the most common method. However, it has significant drawbacks including failure to identify specific neurons in experiments. As an alternative, optical stimulation is a new method that acts in combination with genetic approaches. The novel, optogenetic technology makes it feasible to manipulate either the specific cell types or the neural circuits. This is associated with minimum tissue damages as well as side effects. In this study, a new technology has been introduced, and then its optical and genetical tools have been investigated.


Cell-type specificity; neural circuit; neural probes; opsin proteins; optical manipulation; optogenetics; patterned stimulation

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