Restoring light sensitivity using tunable near-infrared sensors

Dasha Nelidova, Rei K. Morikawa, Cameron S. Cowan, Zoltan Raics, David Goldblum, Hendrik P.N. Scholl, Tamas Szikra, Arnold Szabo, Daniel Hillier, Botond Roska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Enabling near-infrared light sensitivity in a blind human retina may supplement or restore visual function in patients with regional retinal degeneration. We induced near-infrared light sensitivity using gold nanorods bound to temperature-sensitive engineered transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. We expressed mammalian or snake TRP channels in light-insensitive retinal cones in a mouse model of retinal degeneration. Near-infrared stimulation increased activity in cones, ganglion cell layer neurons, and cortical neurons, and enabled mice to perform a learned light-driven behavior. We tuned responses to different wavelengths, by using nanorods of different lengths, and to different radiant powers, by using engineered channels with different temperature thresholds. We targeted TRP channels to human retinas, which allowed the postmortem activation of different cell types by near-infrared light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1108-1113
Number of pages6
JournalScience
Volume368
Issue number6495
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

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