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On the development of optical peripheral nerve interfaces

Authors
  • Anderson, Hans E.
  • Weir, Richard F. ff.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neural Regeneration Research
Publisher
Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2019
Volume
14
Issue
3
Pages
425–436
Identifiers
DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.245461
PMID: 30539808
PMCID: PMC6334609
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Limb loss and spinal cord injury are two debilitating conditions that continue to grow in prevalence. Prosthetic limbs and limb reanimation present two ways of providing affected individuals with means to interact in the world. These techniques are both dependent on a robust interface with the peripheral nerve. Current methods for interfacing with the peripheral nerve tend to suffer from low specificity, high latency and insufficient robustness for a chronic implant. An optical peripheral nerve interface may solve some of these problems by decreasing invasiveness and providing single axon specificity. In order to implement such an interface three elements are required: (1) a transducer capable of translating light into a neural stimulus or translating neural activity into changes in fluorescence, (2) a means for delivering said transducer and (3) a microscope for providing the stimulus light and detecting the fluorescence change. There are continued improvements in both genetically encoded calcium and voltage indicators as well as new optogenetic actuators for stimulation. Similarly, improvements in specificity of viral vectors continue to improve expression in the axons of the peripheral nerve. Our work has recently shown that it is possible to virally transduce axons of the peripheral nerve for recording from small fibers. The improvements of these components make an optical peripheral nerve interface a rapidly approaching alternative to current methods.

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