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Use of an invertebrate animal model (Aplysia californica) to develop novel neural interfaces for neuromodulation

dc.contributor.authorZhuo, Junqi
dc.contributor.authorGill, Jeffrey P. P.
dc.contributor.authorJansen, E. Duco
dc.contributor.authorJenkins, Michael W. W.
dc.contributor.authorChiel, Hillel J. J.
dc.identifier.citationZhuo J, Gill JP, Jansen ED, Jenkins MW and Chiel HJ (2022) Use of an invertebrate animal model (Aplysia californica) to develop novel neural interfaces for neuromodulation. Front. Neurosci. 16:1080027. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.1080027en_US
dc.identifier.otherPubMed ID36620467
dc.description.abstractNew tools for monitoring and manipulating neural activity have been developed with steadily improving functionality, specificity, and reliability, which are critical both for mapping neural circuits and treating neurological diseases. This review focuses on the use of an invertebrate animal, the marine mollusk Aplysia californica, in the development of novel neurotechniques. We review the basic physiological properties of Aplysia neurons and discuss the specific aspects that make it advantageous for developing novel neural interfaces: First, Aplysia nerves consist only of unmyelinated axons with various diameters, providing a particularly useful model of the unmyelinated C fibers in vertebrates that are known to carry important sensory information, including those that signal pain. Second, Aplysia's neural tissues can last for a long period in an ex vivo experimental setup. This allows comprehensive tests such as the exploration of parameter space on the same nerve to avoid variability between animals and minimize animal use. Third, nerves in large Aplysia can be many centimeters in length, making it possible to easily discriminate axons with different diameters based on their conduction velocities. Aplysia nerves are a particularly good approximation of the unmyelinated C fibers, which are hard to stimulate, record, and differentiate from other nerve fibers in vertebrate animal models using epineural electrodes. Fourth, neurons in Aplysia are large, uniquely identifiable, and electrically compact. For decades, researchers have used Aplysia for the development of many novel neurotechnologies. Examples include high-frequency alternating current (HFAC), focused ultrasound (FUS), optical neural stimulation, recording, and inhibition, microelectrode arrays, diamond electrodes, carbon fiber microelectrodes, microscopic magnetic stimulation and magnetic resonance electrical impedance tomography (MREIT). We also review a specific example that illustrates the power of Aplysia for accelerating technology development: selective infrared neural inhibition of small-diameter unmyelinated axons, which may lead to a translationally useful treatment in the future. Generally, Aplysia is suitable for testing modalities whose mechanism involves basic biophysics that is likely to be similar across species. As a tractable experimental system, Aplysia californica can help the rapid development of novel neuromodulation technologies.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Grant Nos. 3OT2 OD025307-01S4, R01 HL126747, and R01 NS121372. JZ was supported by the China Scholarship Council. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.en_US
dc.publisherFrontiers In Neuroscienceen_US
dc.rights© 2022 Zhuo, Gill, Jansen, Jenkins and Chiel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
dc.subjectthermal inhibitionen_US
dc.subjectinfrared neural modulation,en_US
dc.subjectsmall-diameter axon blocken_US
dc.subjectinfrared neural inhibitionen_US
dc.subjectinfrared neural stimulationen_US
dc.titleUse of an invertebrate animal model (Aplysia californica) to develop novel neural interfaces for neuromodulationen_US

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