Closed-loop functional optogenetic stimulation

Shriya S. Srinivasan, Benjamin E. Maimon, Maurizio Diaz, Hyungeun Song and Hugh M. Herr, Nature Communications, volume 9, article number: 5303 (2018)


Optogenetics has been used to orchestrate temporal- and tissue-specific control of neural tissues and offers a wealth of unique advantages for neuromuscular control. Here, we establish a closed-loop functional optogenetic stimulation (CL-FOS) system to control ankle joint position in murine models. Using the measurement of either joint angle or fascicle length as a feedback signal, we compare the controllability of CL-FOS to closed-loop functional electrical stimulation (CL-FES) and demonstrate significantly greater accuracy, lower rise times and lower overshoot percentages. We demonstrate orderly recruitment of motor units and reduced fatigue when performing cyclical movements with CL-FOS compared with CL-FES. We develop and investigate a 3-phase, photo-kinetic model to elucidate the underlying mechanisms for temporal variations in optogenetically activated neuromusculature during closed-loop control experiments. Methods and insights from this study lay the groundwork for the development of closed-loop optogenetic neuromuscular stimulation therapies and devices for peripheral limb control.

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