Thermo-plasmonic neural interfaces - Kang Lab @ AEDRG

Thermo-plasmonic neural interfaces for transgene-free optical neuromodulation

Optical neural stimulation has become well established in neuroscience. Optogenetics is the most representative example. However, this technology requires genetic modification which can be a concern of long-term toxicity and stability in brain, and has limited applicability to human clinical trial. As an alternative method, various non-genetic biophysical mechanisms have been explored for the last decade. Photothermal stimulation using thermo-plasmonic effect of gold nanotransducers is a great example. Several neural engineers including Prof. Yoonkey Nam at KAIST have suggested gold nanoparticles can be an effective choice for successful neural stimulation when integrated near infrared light. Localized heat generation upon light illumination by thermo-plasmonic effect is understood to be able to control some of thermo-sensitive ion channels that are involved in action potential generation.

Dr. Kang introduced several biocompatible nanoparticle micro patterning technologies including inkjet printing to advance the photothermal neural stimulation technologies: (1) inkjet printing based thermo-plasmonic effect patterning for selective neuromodulation; (2) alternative gold nano materials for mass producible photothermal layer; (3) unique engineering applications based on the thermo-plasmonic effect (e.g. anti-counterfeiting application).

Related Publications & Presentations

    1. Woongki Hong, Junhee Lee, Duhee Kim, Yujin Hwang, Hyuk-Jun Kwon, Jae Eun Jang and Hongki Kang*, “Computational Thermal Analysis of the Photothermal Effect of Thermoplasmonic Optical Fiber for Localized Neural Stimulation In Vivo,” ELECTRONICS, 10, 118, 2021. (Link)
    2. Hongki Kang, Woongki Hong, Yujin An, Sangjin Yoo, Hyuk-Jun Kwon, and Yoonkey Nam, “Thermoplasmonic Optical Fiber for Localized Neural Stimulation,” ACS NANO, 14, 9, 11406–11419, 2020. (Link)
    3. Hongki Kang, Gu-Haeng Lee, Hyunjun Jung, Jee Woong Lee and Yoonkey Nam, “Inkjet-Printed Bio-Functional Thermo-Plasmonic Interfaces for Patterned Neuromodulation,” ACS NANO, 12, 2, 1128–1138, 2018. (Link)
    4. Hongki Kang, Jee Woong Lee, and Yoonkey Nam, “Inkjet-Printed Multi-Wavelength Thermo-Plasmonic Images for Anti-Counterfeiting Applications,” ACS APPL. MATER. & INTERFACES, 10, 7, 6764–6771, 2018. (Link)
    5. Jee Woong Lee‡, Hongki Kang‡, and Yoonkey Nam, “Thermo-Plasmonic Gold Nanofilm for Simple and Mass-Producible Photothermal Neural Interfaces,” Nanoscale, 10 (19), 9226-9235, 2018. (Link)– ‡Equal contribution with J.W. Lee
    6. Hongki Kang, Gu-Haeng Lee and Yoonkey Nam, “Inkjet-Printed Gold Nanorods using Biocompatible Polyelectrolyte Layer-by-Layer Coating for Patterned Photothermal Applications,” 39th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2017 (EMBS ’17), 3545–3548, 2017. (Link)
    7. Hyunjun Jung, Hongki Kang, and Yoonkey Nam, “Digital Micromirror based Near-infrared Illumination System for Plasmonic Photothermal Neuromodulation,” BIOMEDICAL OPTICS EXPRESS, 8, 2866, 2017. (Link)
    8. Hongki Kang, Jeewoong Lee, and Yoonkey Nam, “Gold Nanotransducers and Biocompatible Microfabrication Processes for Light-based Transgene-free Photothermal Neuromodulation,” International Meeting on Information Display (IMID 2019), Gyeongju, Korea, Aug. 2019.
    9. Hongki Kang, and Yoonkey Nam, “Gold nanorod attached fiber optic cannulas for localized in vitro photothermal neural inhibitory stimulation,” 2019 9th International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER), San Francisco, USA, Mar. 2019.
    10. Hongki Kang, and Yoonkey Nam, “Immobilization of gold nanoparticles on fiber optic cannulas for photothermal neural stimulation,” SMIT2018-IBEC2018 Joint Conference, Seoul, Korea, Nov. 2018. (Best Poster Award) (SMIT, Society for Minimally Invasive Therapy; IBEC, International Biomedical Engineering Conference)
    11. Hongki Kang, Gu-Haeng Lee, Hyunjun Jung, Jee Woong Lee, and Yoonkey Nam, “Patterned photothermal neuromodulation using inkjet-printed thermo-plasmonic gold nanorods on microelectrode array chips,” MEA Meeting 2018, Reutlingen, Germany, July 2018. (ORAL PRESENTATION)
    12. Hongki Kang, Jee Woong Lee, and Yoonkey Nam, “Microstructural Optimization of Thermal Evaporated Gold Film for Photothermal Neural Chip Applications,” 2018 Annual Spring Meeting of the Korean BioChip Society (KBCS), South Korea, May 2018.
    13. Hongki Kang, Jee Woong Lee, and Yoonkey Nam, “Optimization of photothermal efficiency of thermal evaporated gold film for modulating neural activity in vitro,” Microtechnologies in Medicine and Biology, Monterey, United States, March 2018.
    14. Hongki Kang, Hyunjun Jung, Jee Woong Lee, and Yoonkey Nam, “Selective neuro-modulation using inkjet-printed thermo-plasmonic gold nanorods,” Materials Research Society, Boston, US, Fall 2017. (ORAL PRESENTATION)
    15. Hongki Kang, Hyunjun Jung, Jee Woong Lee, and Yoonkey Nam, “Inkjet-printed micro thermo-plasmonic heater based patterned heat generation for neuro-modulation on microelectrode array chip,” 2017 Annual Fall Meeting of the Korean BioChip Society (KBCS), Busan, South Korea, November 2017. (ORAL PRESENTATION)
    16. Hongki Kang, Jee Woong Lee, Nari Hong, and Yoonkey Nam, “Selective and reversible functional connectivity modulation in neuronal network using patterned thermo-plasmonic effect,” The 20th Annual Meeting of the Korean Society for Brain and Neural Science (KSBNS 2017), Seoul, South Korea, August 2017.
    17. Jeewong Lee, Hongki Kang, and Yoonkey Nam, “Near-infrared light-based photothermal stimulation of cultured neurons using gold nanofilm chip,” SPIE NBSIS 2017, Jeju, South Korea, Feb 2017.