Optogenetics unleashed


Since its introduction in 2005, optogenetics1 has become a go-to tool for deciphering neural pathways and identifying the contributions of specific cell types to behaviors. Certain hardware requirements of these systems, however, have meant that optogenetic studies of the nervous system outside the brain in freely moving animals were largely infeasible. Two new studies, one in Nature Biotechnology2and another in a recent issue of Nature Methods3, have now described the development of fully implantable, wireless, miniature optogenetic devices that are compatible with applications in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves (Fig. 1).

Nature biotechnology
Polina Anikeeva
Polina Anikeeva
Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering
Associate Professor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Associate Director, Research Laboratory of Electronics

My goal is to combine the current knowledge of biology and nanoelectronics to develop materials and devices for minimally invasive treatments for neurological and neuromuscular diseases.