Abstract - Bruce Cohen

Attempts to decode neural circuitry have illuminated a fundamental difficulty of understanding brain function: in every part of the brain, there are a multitude of neurons with distinct and dynamic shapes, arbors and synaptic partners. To address this complexity, optogenetics – using light to silence or activate specific neurons in functional circuits – has begun to identify the critical components of certain neural processes. The photoswitchable compounds that currently make optogenetics possible all rely on visible or ultraviolet wavelengths of light, which presents a major challenge: because this light cannot penetrate brain tissue without being absorbed and scattered, optogenetic control is limited to superficial layers of cortex or requires invasive optical fibers that penetrate into the brain. Near infrared (NIR) light can penetrate far deeper into the brain, offering a more transparent window that has yet to be exploited for optogenetic applications, and numerous studies have found that short-wave IR (SWIR) light will cause neurons to fire. The goal of this proposal is to develop nanocrystals that efficiently convert NIR to SWIR light, and to test these for optogenetic activity in live neurons. This collaboration will leverage extensive optogenetic work at Berkeley with the unique nano-optical design work at the LBNL.

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Principal Investigator Institution Title Abstract
Andersen, Richard California Institute of Technology Engineering Artificial Sensation View
Andrews, Anne University of California, Los Angeles Nanoscale Neurotransmitter Sensors View
Bloodgood, Brenda University of California San Diego A novel toolkit for visualizing and manipulating activity-induced transcription in living brain. View
Chaumeil, Myriam University of California, San Francisco In vivo metabolic imaging of neuroinflammation using hyperpolarized 13C View
Cleary, Michael University of California, Merced Capturing physiological maps of neural gene expression View
Cohen, Bruce University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Nano-optogenetic control of neuronal firing with targeted nanocrystals View
Dai, Hongjie Stanford University  Deep brain imaging of single neurons in the second near-infrared optical window View
Hall, Drew University of California, San Diego Magnetic Monitoring of Neural Activity using Magnetoresistive Nanosensors View
Krubitzer, Leah University of California, Davis An integrated system to monitor, image, and regulate neural activity View
Kubby, Joel University of California, Santa Cruz Three-Photon Microscopy with Adaptive Optics for Deep Tissue Brain Activity Imaging View
Melosh, Nicholas Stanford University Parallel Solid State Intracellular Patch-Clamping with Biomimetic Probes View
Park, B. Hyle University of California, Riverside  Label-free 4D optical detection of neural activity View
Portera-Cailliau, Carlos University of California, Los Angeles High-speed interrogation of network activity with frequency domain multiplexing View
Shanechi, Maryam University of Southern California Control-Theoretic Neuroprosthetic Design Using Electrocorticography Signals View
Smith, Will University of California, Santa Barbara Whole brain imaging in a primative chordate View
Wood, Marcelo University of California, Irvine Epigenetic PET tracer for cross-species investigation of age-related memory dysfunction View