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UMass Amherst Unveils Groundbreaking Dual-Color Optoelectronic Brain Probe with High Precision

A group of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst has developed a cutting-edge dual-color optoelectronic neural probe. In contrast to previous single-color probes that typically influenced brain activity in only one direction, this innovative design enables the enhancement and suppression of electrical activities within the same neurons in specific cortical layers.

The breakthrough holds significant promise for delving into densely packed neural microcircuits in both the cortex and deep brain regions, ultimately contributing to the broader goal of functional brain mapping. This device, grounded in optogenetics, utilizes either red or blue light to make neurons in each cortical layer more active or silent, providing bidirectional control that is crucial for gaining insights into diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson's.

The addition of a second color to the probe introduces flexibility in optical brain control, a complex task that demands the precise integration of various optoelectronic materials within a compact footprint, measuring less than a millimeter, and with minimal crosstalk.


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