Applications of Nanoparticles for Optical Modulation of Neuronal Behavior

Authored by: Chiara Paviolo , Shaun Gietman , Daniela Duc , Simon E. Moulton , Paul R. Stoddart

Handbook of Neurophotonics

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781498718752
eBook ISBN: 9780429194702
Adobe ISBN:


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The nervous system is essential to the functional transmission and processing of information within the human body. It consists of two main parts: the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) that comprises all other neural tissues in the body [1]. The basic unit of the nervous system is the neuron, a specialized cell that is capable of receiving and sending electrical signals on millisecond time-scales [2]. Neurons form a complex electrical network throughout the body that underpins perception, motor control, organ communication, and the maintenance of all physiological functions. Under pathological conditions, neuronal pathways can be partially or totally disrupted, resulting in the loss of electrical transmission. Clinical therapies to restore damaged neuronal networks range from bridging axonal gap connections (currently over distances less than 25 mm [3]), to neural prostheses and neural interfaces for non-treatable conditions (e.g. neuro-degenerative diseases or spinal cord injuries).

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