Optogenetics, the science of using a light source to control cell functions, was first pioneered a decade ago in a lab co-run by Karl Deisseroth. He’s now one of the co-founders of Circuit Therapeutics, a San Francisco-based research lab. There, he and colleagues are working to find a ways to use optogenetics to ease the various forms of pain that people experience. The idea is to genetically modify cells so that they respond in desired ways when light is shone on them. In this latest effort, the researchers did just that.
The team caused nerve cells just beneath the skin of several mice to respond to light—receptors were turned on or off—by first injecting a solution of molecules directly into the nerve endings. The skin on mice feet is so thin that light can pass right through it and on to the pain receptors below.
Read more at: MedicalXpress