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NIH funds researchers using light to control and monitor neural activity
Date:11/7/2013

n works or to intervene in case of neurological disorders or to affect behavior.

Ultimately, Mohanty's team has a goal of creating all optical, or light-based, control and monitoring of cell activity. So, in addition to the light-assisted delivery of genes, the researchers also will work on refining methods for stimulating the neural activity using near-infrared and visible light. Some of those methods are described in a recently published paper called "Fiber-optic two-photon optogenetic stimulation," which appeared in the journal Optics Letters.

Mohanty's lab at UT Arlington also will use a method called phase-sensitive interferometry, to monitor the changes in neurons that result from the activation by light. The interferometry method is called "label-free" because unlike fluorescence, it uses the change in behavior of light rays, rather than staining, to track changes at the sub-nanometer level.

"Dr. Mohanty's proven track record of exploration in the area of optogenetics has earned him this support from the National Institutes of Health," said Alex Weiss, chairman of the College of Science's physics department. "We are pleased to see this promising research supported and look forward to seeing the exciting research findings that this support will make possible."


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Contact: Traci Peterson
tpeterso@uta.edu
817-521-5494
University of Texas at Arlington
Source:Eurekalert  

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