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Channelrhodopsin-2 and optical control of excitable cells

Nature Methods volume 3, pages 785792 (2006) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Electrically excitable cells are important in the normal functioning and in the pathophysiology of many biological processes. These cells are typically embedded in dense, heterogeneous tissues, rendering them difficult to target selectively with conventional electrical stimulation methods. The algal protein Channelrhodopsin-2 offers a new and promising solution by permitting minimally invasive, genetically targeted and temporally precise photostimulation. Here we explore technological issues relevant to the temporal precision, spatial targeting and physiological implementation of ChR2, in the context of other photostimulation approaches to optical control of excitable cells.

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Acknowledgements

We thank C. Chan in the Gambhir lab and M. Cordey, V. Gradinaru and K. Kay in the Deisseroth lab for helpful comments and editing. This work was supported by fellowships from the US National Institutes of Health (F.Z.), California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (L-P.W.) and the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation (E.S.B.). K.D. is supported by US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) as well as by National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education (APIRE), and the Snyder, Culpeper, Coulter, Klingenstein, Whitehall, McKnight, and Albert Yu and Mary Bechmann Foundations.

Author information

Author notes

    • Feng Zhang
    •  & Li-Ping Wang

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Department of Bioengineering, Clark Center, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive West, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

    • Feng Zhang
    • , Li-Ping Wang
    • , Edward S Boyden
    •  & Karl Deisseroth
  2. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Clark Center, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive West, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

    • Karl Deisseroth

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Karl Deisseroth.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth936

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