Neurons, the fundamental units of the nervous system, play a pivotal role in transmitting and processing information within the brain. In recent years, technological advancements in the field of optogenetics have revolutionized the study of brain neurons, offering unprecedented insights into their activity and behavior.
At Creative Biolabs, we explore and harness the power of optogenetics to enable precise and non-invasive brain neuron detection, facilitating groundbreaking discoveries in neuroscience.
Development of Neuron Detection Technology
Prior to the advent of optogenetic techniques, neuronal activity studies were usually performed using conventional electrical stimulation. This method was not specific and could not precisely localize neurons.
Later, scientists began to use chemical drugs combined with transgenic techniques to pinpoint specific neurons and conduct related studies. Although the problem of specificity could be solved, the accuracy in time was again difficult to guarantee.
Then, optogenetics emerged as a new light-controlled cellular technique that quickly took the neuroscience community by storm. It can activate or inhibit specific kinds of neuronal activity with very high temporal and spatial precision and with specificity.
Optogenetics is an innovative technique to manipulate and monitor neuronal activity with great precision. By integrating light-sensitive proteins into specific neurons, scientists can regulate their electrical activity using light pulses.
Light-sensitive proteins are mainly modified from the opsins of single-celled microorganisms. According to the different effects, light-sensitive proteins are mainly classified as excitatory and inhibitory proteins. After years of development, these two types have become very mature and have derived several variants in order to be used for different research purposes.
Activated Light-Sensitive Proteins
Inhibitory Light-Sensitive Proteins
ChR2 - activated by 473 nm blue light irradiation
NpHR - a saline bacterial retinoid
ChETA - mutants of ChR2
ArchT - an archaebacterial retinoid
C1V1 - open channel with red laser stimulation
Mac - leptosphaeria maculans fungal opsins
Basic Steps of Optogenetic Techniques
In general, when using optogenetic techniques for cell activity manipulation experiments, it is usually important to consider the selection of suitable photosensitive proteins and the use of viral vector delivery to make the target cells express the target photosensitive proteins, and then combine them with laser emission manipulation devices to precisely control cell activity to observe changes in key indicators of cells or animals.
Light-sensitive protein selection
Based on different experimental purposes, researchers need to select different types of photosensitive proteins that match the experimental purpose.
Light-sensitive protein expression
The gene fragments of selected light-sensitive proteins are transferred into the target cells by viral vector tools, or the gene information of light-sensitive proteins is transmitted to the target cells by transgenic model animals, etc.
Laser device manipulation
After the light-sensitive protein is expressed, the laser properties are artificially controlled to achieve precise control of neuronal activity through a pre-introduced optical fiber.
Verification of manipulation effect
At the cellular level, electrodes are generally used to record the voltage changes inside and outside the neuronal cell membrane to verify the effectiveness of optogenetic techniques. At the macroscopic level, animal behavioral tests can be used to assess whether changes in neuronal activity have an effect on animal behavior.
Optogenetics has emerged as a powerful tool for brain neuron detection, enabling researchers to delve into the intricacies of neuronal activity with unprecedented precision. At Creative Biolabs, we are committed to we are dedicated to advancing the field of optogenetics and harnessing its potential to unlock the mysteries of the brain.
Our team of talented scientists works closely with researchers, neurologists, and biotechnologists to develop customized solutions that cater to their specific experimental needs. From designing and constructing viral vectors for efficient opsin delivery to optimizing stimulation protocols and data analysis pipelines, we provide comprehensive support throughout the entire optogenetic workflow. Please do not hesitate to contact us to get services or assistance.
Yizhar O, et al. Optogenetics in neural systems. Neuron, 2011, 71(1): 9-34.
Deisseroth K. Optogenetics: 10 years of microbial opsins in neuroscience. Nature neuroscience, 2015, 18(9): 1213-1225.