Modified Optogenetics Approach Is Promising For Stroke Recovery

A method known as “optochemogenetics,” which allows noninvasive, selective brain cell stimulation, was developed by a team of researchers by modifying optogenetics. The research could pave the way for a noninvasive method of using light to restore lost abilities in stroke recovery in neural progenitor cells that have been transplanted.

Lead researchers created proteins that, when exposed to a substance called coelenterazine(CTZ), are light-sensitive and produce their light in a rodent stroke model. The proteins are derived from the deep ocean crustacean Gaussia princeps, fingertip size, and Volvox algae.

The research aimed to find a method to encourage neural progenitor cells, which can proliferate and differentiate into mature neurons, to remain in the brain after a stroke has destroyed it. They used a mouse model in which half of the brain’s motor and sensory areas had been damaged.

In studies, luminous-encoding genes were inserted into induced pluripotent stem cells, which were subsequently cultured to produce neural progenitor cells. A week after a stroke, mice’s brains received the neural stem cells. Then, CTZ, which produces light when luminopsins interact with it, was administered intranasally twice daily for two weeks.

According to the lead researcher, compared to its component technologies, optochemogenetics signifies a significant advancement. Although optogenetics is an excellent technical instrument, he claims that there are some obstacles to its use in clinical settings. Particularly on the bigger scale of the human brain, there is the intrusive fiber-optic light delivery and the short range of light diffusion.

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