Technical Report | Published:

One-step optogenetics with multifunctional flexible polymer fibers

Nature Neuroscience volume 20, pages 612619 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Optogenetic interrogation of neural pathways relies on delivery of light-sensitive opsins into tissue and subsequent optical illumination and electrical recording from the regions of interest. Despite the recent development of multifunctional neural probes, integration of these modalities in a single biocompatible platform remains a challenge. We developed a device composed of an optical waveguide, six electrodes and two microfluidic channels produced via fiber drawing. Our probes facilitated injections of viral vectors carrying opsin genes while providing collocated neural recording and optical stimulation. The miniature (<200 μm) footprint and modest weight (<0.5 g) of these probes allowed for multiple implantations into the mouse brain, which enabled opto-electrophysiological investigation of projections from the basolateral amygdala to the medial prefrontal cortex and ventral hippocampus during behavioral experiments. Fabricated solely from polymers and polymer composites, these flexible probes minimized tissue response to achieve chronic multimodal interrogation of brain circuits with high fidelity.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to H. Cho for graphics help during figure preparation. This work was supported in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (5R01NS086804, P.A.) National Science Foundation under CAREER award (CBET-1253890, P.A.), Center for Materials Science and Engineering (DMR-1419807, P.A. and Y.F.), Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (EEC-1028725, P.A.) and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT (P.A. and G.B.C.). S.P. is a recipient of Samsung Scholarship.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

    • Seongjun Park
  2. Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

    • Seongjun Park
    • , Benjamin Grena
    • , Chi Lu
    • , Andres Canales
    • , Ritchie Chen
    • , Yoel Fink
    •  & Polina Anikeeva
  3. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

    • Yuanyuan Guo
    • , Benjamin Grena
    • , Chi Lu
    • , Andres Canales
    • , Ritchie Chen
    • , Yoel Fink
    •  & Polina Anikeeva
  4. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.

    • Yuanyuan Guo
  5. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

    • Yuanyuan Guo
    •  & Xiaoting Jia
  6. McGovern Institute for Brain Research and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

    • Han Kyoung Choe
    • , Yeong Shin Yim
    •  & Gloria B Choi
  7. Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

    • Jeewoo Kang
  8. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

    • Jiyeon Park

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Contributions

S.P., X.J. and P.A. designed the study. B.G. and X.J. designed the conductive polymer composite gCPE. S.P., Y.G. and X.J. fabricated multifunctional fibers. S.P., Y.G., J.P. and J.K. connectorized fibers to optical, electrical and microfluidic interfaces. S.P., Y.G., A.C., C.L. and J.K. characterized the physical properties of fiber probes. S.P. and Y.G. recorded and analyzed the electrophysiological data. G.B.C. facilitated with design and analysis of behavioral experiments. S.P., C.H.K. and Y.S.Y. conducted behavioral tests. S.P. and R.C. performed immunohistochemistry. Y.F. facilitated with fiber design.All of the authors contributed to the writing the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Polina Anikeeva.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4510

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