Remote Regulation of Neural Activity

Friday, February 17, 2017: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 313 (Hynes Convention Center)
Sarah Stanley, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
Abnormalities in neural populations and their downstream circuits can result in chronic disease and identifying which cells and pathways are involved may help identify new therapeutic avenues. One method to assess the role of a particular neural population is to switch cell activity on or off and examining the effects in a behaving animal. An ideal tool for this would rapidly and reversibly control activity in a defined set of cells at any site in the CNS without interfering with normal behavior. This talk will describe the development and characterization of a system for wireless regulation of neural activity.

The system for non-invasive cell regulation uses alternating or static magnetic fields to control targeted cells, which express modified multimodal ion channels and a ferritin fusion protein to generate intracellular nanoparticles. We have validated these tools in vitro using imaging and electrophysiology to demonstrate rapid, controllable neural activation and inhibition. We have used these tools in vivo to modulating defined hypothalamic neurons. Modulating these neurons alters blood glucose and peripheral hormones and controls feeding. These studies demonstrate these technologies can be used for rapid, remote neuromodulation without the need for an implant.