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Wireless, battery-free, subdermally implantable platforms for transcranial and long-range optogenetics in freely moving animals

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Wireless, battery-free, subdermally implantable platforms for transcranial and long-range optogenetics in freely moving animals

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Abstract

Wireless, battery-free, and fully subdermally implantable optogenetic tools are poised to transform neurobiological research in freely moving animals. Current-generation wireless devices are sufficiently small, thin, and light for subdermal implantation, offering some advantages over tethered methods for naturalistic behavior. Yet current devices using wireless power delivery require invasive stimulus delivery, penetrating the skull and disrupting the blood–brain barrier. This can cause tissue displacement, neuronal damage, and scarring. Power delivery constraints also sharply curtail operational arena size. Here, we implement highly miniaturized, capacitive power storage on the platform of wireless subdermal implants. With approaches to digitally manage power delivery to optoelectronic components, we enable two classes of applications: transcranial optogenetic activation millimeters into the brain (validated using motor cortex stimulation to induce turning behaviors) and wireless optogenetics in arenas of more than 1 m 2 in size. This methodology allows for previously impossible behavioral experiments leveraging the modern optogenetic toolkit.

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