Multifunctional polymer-based fibers for the recording and modulation of neural circuits
Marc-Joseph Antonini, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical, optical and chemical approaches have been used to manipulate and record neuronal activity in vivo. However, the integration of multiple modalities into a single biocompatible neural probe remains a challenge in the field of neural engineering. Here, we utilize a thermal drawing process to fabricate a multifunctional fiber featuring a microfluidic channel for drug and virus delivery, a tungsten microelectrode for electrophysiological recording and an optical waveguide. By leveraging recent advances in the development of photoswitchable drugs, we can modulate the activity of virally transfected neurons with increased spatial and temporal precision . Combining these technologies into a single device enables one-step chemogenetic experiments in vivo, and simultaneous manipulation and electrophysiological monitoring of the mesolimbic reward system in freely moving mice.