Implantable light source for driving optogenetic constructs
Dr. Yang has created a novel way to me a sure pain by placing rats on miniature force plates and applying a pain stimulus to one of their paws. The shift in center of pressure away from the stimulated paw allows for the quantification of pain sensations in response to a given intensity of a stimulus. Using a wirelessly-controlled implanted light in rats, Dr. Yang plans to study the effectiveness of light stimulation of Channelrhodopsin at inhibiting pain signals propagating through the sciatic nerve. Both the expression of the protein and frequency, location, and intensity of light stimulation are factors that must be optimized to minimize the sensation of pain. An implantable light source must be constructed capable of emitting 470 nm light at the sciatic nerve and this device must be controlled with an Arduino and user interface via radio frequency transmission. This treatment method has implications for minimizing the symptoms of chronic pain in humans.
- Karam Khateeb - Team Leader
- Will Flanigan - Communicator
- Clinton Heinze - BSAC & BPAG
- Ian Baumgart - BWIG