Evolution of optogenetic microdevices

Rajas P. Kale, Abbas Z. Kouzani, Ken Walder, Michael Berk, Susannah J. Tye

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Implementation of optogenetic techniques is a recent addition to the neuroscientists' preclinical research arsenal, helping to expose the intricate connectivity of the brain and allowing for on-demand direct modulation of specific neural pathways. Developing an optogenetic system requires thorough investigation of the optogenetic technique and of previously fabricated devices, which this review accommodates. Many experiments utilize bench-top systems that are bulky, expensive, and necessitate tethering to the animal. However, these bench-top systems can make use of power-demanding technologies, such as concurrent electrical recording. Newer portable microdevices and implantable systems carried by freely moving animals are being fabricated that take advantage of wireless energy harvesting to power a system and allow for natural movements that are vital for behavioral testing and analysis. An investigation of the evolution of tethered, portable, and implantable optogenetic microdevices is presented, and an analysis of benefits and detriments of each system, including optical power output, device dimensions, electrode width, and weight is given. Opsins, light sources, and optical fiber coupling are also discussed to optimize device parameters and maximize efficiency from the light source to the fiber, respectively. These attributes are important considerations when designing and developing improved optogenetic microdevices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031206
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Optogenetics
  • behavioral tests
  • fiber coupling
  • neurology
  • portable microdevices
  • psychiatry
  • tethering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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