Expanding the Toolbox of Upconversion Nanoparticles for In Vivo Optogenetics and Neuromodulation

Angelo Homayoun All, Xiao Zeng, Daniel Boon Loong Teh, Zhigao Yi, Ankshita Prasad, Toru Ishizuka, Nitish Thakor, Yawo Hiromu, Xiaogang Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Optogenetics is an optical technique that exploits visible light for selective neuromodulation with spatio-temporal precision. Despite enormous effort, the effective stimulation of targeted neurons, which are located in deeper structures of the nervous system, by visible light, remains a technical challenge. Compared to visible light, near-infrared illumination offers a higher depth of tissue penetration owing to a lower degree of light attenuation. Herein, an overview of advances in developing new modalities for neural circuitry modulation utilizing upconversion-nanoparticle-mediated optogenetics is presented. These developments have led to minimally invasive optical stimulation and inhibition of neurons with substantially improved selectivity, sensitivity, and spatial resolution. The focus is to provide a comprehensive review of the mechanistic basis for evaluating upconversion parameters, which will be useful in designing, executing, and reporting optogenetic experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1803474
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

User-Defined Keywords

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Nanomedicine/methods
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nervous System Physiological Phenomena/genetics
  • Optogenetics/methods


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