Undergrad Research Project - Acousto-optic Modulation of Neural Activity

Spring 2016

Yae Sun Kwak
Maysam Chamanzar
Project description

Optical imaging is the gold standard of non-invasive biological interrogation. Moreover, optical stimulation techniques are rapidly expanding. However, two serious challenges need to be addressed for optical interrogation to be effective for deep-tissue imaging and stimulation. One is targeted delivery of light deep into the brain tissue (at least a few millimeters) and second is non-invasive beam steering in the tissue. Current methods of light delivery and beam steering require inserting and physically moving optical fibers, waveguides, or active light sources, which would cause a significant tissue displacement and damage to the vasculature In this project, we take a radical approach to use ultrasonic waves in conjunction with light to define and steer the trajectory of light in the brain for non-invasive targeted optogenetic stimulation and imaging of local neuron clusters.

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