Soft subdermal implant capable of wireless battery charging and programmable controls for applications in optogenetics
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Wirelessly rechargeable brain implants could make it easier for researchers to control individual neurons in rats using pulses of lights.
Optogenetics is a research tool in neuroscience that uses light to alter the activity of genetically engineered light-sensitive nerve cells to better understand the function and behaviour of clusters of neurons in animals.
Now, a team led by researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed an implantable optogenetic light-emitting device that can be wirelessly recharged. The device contains a lithium polymer battery that harvests wireless radio-frequency energy using a coil antenna.
This solves the problem of having to keep the device attached to either external batteries that require regular changing or a tethered power source that limits the animal’s movement.
- Nature Communications 12, 535 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-20803-y