The ability to study the central nervous system (CNS) using optogenetic actuators has profoundly transformed neurosciences. Currently, Creative Biolabs offers optogenetic actuators production services to clients worldwide. Our dedicated team of neuroscience specialists has an in-depth understanding of the optogenetic actuator applications and will help you find the best solution for your research requirements.
Optogenetics commonly refers to genetically encoded light-activated channels that enable analysis and modification of neural activity. These genetic manipulations involve the introduction of genes that encode chromogenic proteins, which are also optogenetic tools. The optogenetic toolbox includes (1) optogenetic actuators to manipulate numerous cellular activities and (2) fluorescent sensors to visualize signaling events in cells.
Optogenetic Tools: Actuators
Optogenetic actuators are light-driven proteins to perturb electrochemical signals. Optogenetic actuators can control various cellular functions and pathways by exploiting photosensitive proteins that bind, aggregate, dissociate or change conformation upon light illumination. Manipulation of neural circuit activity using optogenetics has been achieved in vivo. These actuators suppress neural activity, induce many action potentials, or modify signaling pathways.
Fig.1 Overview of optogenetic actuators. (Rost, 2017)
Optogenetic Actuators for Neuronal Activity in CNS
The most widely used actuators are opsins, naturally occurring light-sensitive transmembrane proteins. Several microbial opsins, such as channelrhodopsins and halorhodopsin, have recently been established as high-performance optogenetic actuators for the control of CNS. For example, channelrhodopsins allow defining neurons whose activation is sufficient to elicit a specific postsynaptic response or behavioral response. Moreover, halorhodopsin define which neurons are necessary for a particular postsynaptic response or behavior. Remarkably, these actuators provide spatial and temporal control over neuronal activity via light and can be genetically targeted to various specific neurons. These discoveries gave new impetus, especially to the neuroscience field, and led to designing light-sensitive proteins with faster kinetics and sensitivity.
Fig.2 The concepts of different actuators for activation and inhibition of cells. (Boesmans, 2018)
Services at Creative Biolabs
The continued search for novel light-activated actuators and genetic alterations to existing actuators may help create channels with sufficient spectral separation to allow for precise optical control of single-cell activity with high temporal resolution. Creative Biolabs is the premier provider of customized services in the field of neurosciences. Our team of scientists has a wealth of experience in neuroscience research to support the development of various research tools, such as optogenetic actuators. We can work with you to understand your development needs and figure out the best way to optimize your activated actuators.
Creative Biolabs means efficiency and high quality thanks to highly specialized staff and advanced platforms. We have more than ten years of experience providing comprehensive support and tools for your neuroscience research. To learn more detailed information, please directly contact us. We look forward to working with you in the future.
Rost, B.; et al. Optogenetic tools for subcellular applications in neuroscience. Neuron. 2017, 96(3), 572-603.
Boesmans, W.; et al. Optogenetic and chemogenetic techniques for neurogastroenterology. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2018, 15(1), 21-38.