A recent work Prof. Kang and Woongki Hong worked on with Prof. Yoonkey Nam at KAIST has been published online in ACS Nano journal.
Title: Thermoplasmonic Optical Fiber for Localized Neural Stimulation
Abstract: Thermoplasmonic effect-based neural stimulation has been suggested as an alternative optical neural stimulation technology without genetic modification. Integration of near-infrared light with plasmonic gold nanoparticles has been demonstrated as a neuromodulation tool on in vitro neuronal network models. In order to further test the validity of the thermoplasmonic neural stimulation across multiple biological models (in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo) avoiding genetic modification in optical neuromodulation, versatile engineering approaches to apply the thermoplasmonic effect would be required. In this work, we developed a gold nanorod attached optical fiber technology for the localized neural stimulation based on a thermoplasmonic effect. A simple fabrication process was developed for efficient nanoparticle coating on commercial optical fibers. The thermoplasmonic optical fiber proved that it can locally modulate the neural activity in vitro. Lastly, we simulated the spatiotemporal temperature change by the thermoplasmonic optical fiber and analyzed its applicability to in vivo animal models.