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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Combined optical and electrical stimulation of neural tissue in vivo

Paper Abstract

Low-intensity, pulsed infrared light provides a novel nerve stimulation modality that avoids the limitations of traditional electrical methods such as necessity of contact, presence of a stimulation artifact, and relatively poor spatial precision. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) is, however, limited by a 2:1 ratio of threshold radiant exposures for damage to that for stimulation. We have shown that this ratio is increased to nearly 6:1 by combining the infrared pulse with a subthreshold electrical stimulus. Our results indicate a nonlinear relationship between the subthreshold depolarizing electrical stimulus and additional optical energy required to reach stimulation threshold. The change in optical threshold decreases linearly as the delay between the electrical and optical pulses is increased. We have shown that the high spatial precision of INS is maintained for this combined stimulation modality. Results of this study will facilitate the development of applications for infrared neural stimulation, as well as target the efforts to uncover the mechanism by which infrared light activates neural tissue.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2009
PDF: 3 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 14(6) 060501 doi: 10.1117/1.3257230
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 14, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Austin R. Duke, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Jonathan M. Cayce, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Jonathan D. Malphrus, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Peter Konrad, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
E. Duco Jansen, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)

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