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Cell Membrane Dynamics in Infrared Nerve Stimulation and Blocking


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In this grant, we explored and analyzed the underlying fundamental biophysical mechanisms and cell membrane dynamics associated with infrared nerve stimulation and inhibition. Short pulse single pulse interactions were studied to elucidate when excitatory and inhibitory effects occurred in the crayfish motor axon. With detailed intracellular recordings, we investigated infrared nerve inhibition effects of axonal action potentials and the downstream physiological outcomes. We found that stimulation and inhibition can be induced simultaneously by a single infrared light pulse and what biophysical mechanisms are associated with each regime. Temperature-sensitive potassium ion channels were identified to contribute to hyperpolarization that can reversibly and transiently suppress action potential firing. Cell membrane studies examined the passive axonal excitability and photothermal imaging allowed detailed characterization of the thermal diffusion dynamics associated with fibroblast cell models and their cell membrane. Conditions for suppressing action potential initiation and propagation and their downstream motor responses were derived. Overall, our research studies offered novel insights into the ion channel kinetics and cell membrane properties for infrared nerve inhibition and stimulation and provided a multi-modular approach with infrared nerve modulation, electrophysiology and photothermal microscopy.



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