Wireless activation of neurons in brain slices using nanostructured semiconductor photoelectrodes

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2009;48(13):2407-10. doi: 10.1002/anie.200806093.


Light rather than electrical current: The inner or outer surfaces of glass micropipettes can be coated with nanoparticles of a narrow-band-gap semiconductor. When visible or near-infrared light is used for excitation, these micropipettes (labeled PE Stim in the image) can activate nearby neurons (labeled *) in brain tissue without the damage associated with electrical stimulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrodes
  • Infrared Rays
  • Lead / chemistry
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / ultrastructure
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Selenium Compounds / chemistry
  • Semiconductors


  • Selenium Compounds
  • lead selenide
  • Lead