Fabrication and application of flexible, multimodal light-emitting devices for wireless optogenetics

Nat Protoc. 2013 Dec;8(12):2413-2428. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2013.158. Epub 2013 Nov 7.


The rise of optogenetics provides unique opportunities to advance materials and biomedical engineering, as well as fundamental understanding in neuroscience. This protocol describes the fabrication of optoelectronic devices for studying intact neural systems. Unlike optogenetic approaches that rely on rigid fiber optics tethered to external light sources, these novel devices carry wirelessly powered microscale, inorganic light-emitting diodes (μ-ILEDs) and multimodal sensors inside the brain. We describe the technical procedures for construction of these devices, their corresponding radiofrequency power scavengers and their implementation in vivo for experimental application. In total, the timeline of the procedure, including device fabrication, implantation and preparation to begin in vivo experimentation, can be completed in ~3-8 weeks. Implementation of these devices allows for chronic (tested for up to 6 months) wireless optogenetic manipulation of neural circuitry in animals navigating complex natural or home-cage environments, interacting socially, and experiencing other freely moving behaviors.

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
  • Fiber Optic Technology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nerve Net
  • Optogenetics / methods*
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Wireless Technology*