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Research Papers

Application of infrared light for in vivo neural stimulation

[+] Author Affiliations
Jonathon Wells

Vanderbilt University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Box 351631, Station B, Nashville, Tennessee 37235

Chris Kao

Vanderbilt University, Department of Neurological Surgery, 1161 21st Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee 37235

E. Duco Jansen, Peter Konrad, Anita Mahadevan-Jansen

Vanderbilt University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Box 351631, Station B, Nashville, Tennessee 37235 and Vanderbilt University, Department of Neurological Surgery, 1161 21st Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee 37235

J. Biomed. Opt. 10(6), 064003 (November 03, 2005). doi:10.1117/1.2121772
History: Received March 24, 2005; Revised May 18, 2005; Accepted June 17, 2005; Published November 03, 2005
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A novel method for damage-free, artifact-free stimulation of neural tissue using pulsed, low-energy infrared laser light is presented. Optical stimulation elicits compound nerve and muscle potentials similar to responses obtained with conventional electrical neural stimulation in a rat sciatic nerve model. Stimulation and damage thresholds were determined as a function of wavelength using a tunable free electron laser source (λ=2to10μm) and a solid state holmium:YAG laser (λ=2.12μm). Threshold radiant exposure required for stimulation varies with wavelength from 0.312Jcm2(λ=3μm) to 1.22Jcm2(λ=2.1μm). Histological analysis indicates no discernable thermal damage with suprathreshold stimulation. The largest damage/stimulation threshold ratios (>6) were at wavelengths corresponding to valleys in the IR spectrum of soft tissue absorption (4 and 2.1μm). Furthermore, optical stimulation can be used to generate a spatially selective response in small fascicles of the sciatic nerve that has significant advantages (e.g., noncontact, spatial resolution, lack of stimulation artifact) over conventional electrical methods in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in neuroscience, neurology, and neurosurgery.

Figures in this Article
© 2005 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Topics

Nerve ; Tissues ; Safety ; Lasers

Citation

Jonathon Wells ; Chris Kao ; E. Duco Jansen ; Peter Konrad and Anita Mahadevan-Jansen
"Application of infrared light for in vivo neural stimulation", J. Biomed. Opt. 10(6), 064003 (November 03, 2005). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2121772


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