Technical information for Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics and BBB opening with focused ultrasound
ATAC requires three components: equipment for focused ultrasound, Adeno-Associated viral vectors (AAVs) carrying chemogenetic receptors, and chemogenetic ligands for control of the chemogenetic receptors.
Focused-Ultrasound equipment is available commercially, but also can be built "in-house" at a lower cost. The commercial solutions I am aware of are offered by:
The custom-built system will require at minimum a function generator, an amplifier, and a focused-ultrasound transducer that can support an appropriate mechanical index. An ultrasound transducer can be mounted on a stereotax. Optional equipment may improve reproducibility and convenience of performing the experiments.
Adeno-Associated viral vectors can be ordered from multiple companies and university vector cores. Many of them are available from Addgene, including stocked DREADDs. Note that Addgene does not carry AAV9, which was used in our original ATAC study and showed good transduction efficiency. The AAVs can be also packaged in large quantities, we used services of Vigene Biosciences and Signagen, but there are other companies available, such as Virovek. Many universities have their own vector cores that can package AAVs. We have found that the cost of packaging AAVs "in-house" is comparable to the cost of ordering it from the mentioned companies, at least for large quantities of AAVs.
Chemogenetic ligands are largely available commercially. Depending on the exact chemogenetic system there may be more than one suitable compound available. The choice of the chemogenetic system and compounds will depend on the application. See resources section for more information.