Noninvasive control of neural circuits:
Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics (ATAC)
2016 - present, currently recruiting
Treatment of neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases requires control of the right brain cells in the right brain region at the right time. Existing technologies capable of doing so require invasive techniques, such as neurosurgery and placement of permanent intracranial implants, which carry significant risks including damage to brain tissues, infection, bleeding, and other complications. Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics (ATAC) aims to improve the safety, precision, and cost of treatment of such diseases through noninvasive and non-surgical gene therapy that is capable of targeting cells with spatial, cell-type, molecular, and temporal precision, all of which are necessary for control of neural circuits and treatment of brain disorders.
Image: Unilateral targeting of an activatory DREADD (red) to SNc/VTA region in a mouse brain (pale blue). SNc/VTA region is involved in many processes including reward mechanisms and motion control.
For more information see: Szablowski JO, Lue B, Lee-Gosselin A, Malounda D, Shapiro MG, Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics for Noninvasive Control of Neural Circuits, Nature Biomedical Engineering (2018)