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Light propagation analysis in nervous tissue for wireless optogenetic nanonetworks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptogenetics and Optical Manipulation 2018
ISBN (Electronic)9781510614499
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventOptogenetics and Optical Manipulation - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 27 Jan 201828 Jan 2018

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceOptogenetics and Optical Manipulation
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


In recent years, numerous methods have been sought for developing novel solutions to counter neurodegenerative diseases. An objective that is being investigated by researchers is to develop cortical implants that are able to wirelessly stimulate neurons at the single cell level. This is a major development compared to current solutions that use electrodes, which are only able to target a population of neurons, or optogenetics, which requires optical fiber-leads to be embedded deep into the brain. In this direction, the concept of wireless optogenetic nanonetworks has been recently introduced. In such architecture, miniature devices are implanted in the cortex for neuronal stimulation through optogenetics. One of the aspects that will determine the topology and performance of wireless optogenetic nanonetworks is related to light propagation in genetically-engineered neurons. In this paper, a channel model that captures the peculiarities of light propagation in neurons is developed. First, the light propagation behavior using the modified Beer-Lambert law is analyzed based on the photon transport through the nervous tissue. This includes analyzing the scattering light diffraction and diffusive reflection that results from the absorption of neural cell chromophores, as well as validating the results by means of extensive multiphysics simulations. Then, analysis is conducted on the path loss through cells at different layers of the cortex by taking into account the multi-path phenomenon. Results show that there is a light focusing effect in the soma of neurons that can potentially help the to stimulate the target cells.


  • Light propagation, Optogenetics, Single-neuron stimulation, Wireless nanonetworks

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