Optical Fibers coupled to laser light sources, and Light Emitting Diodes are the two classes of technologies used for optogenetic experiments. Arizona State University's Flexible Display Center fabricates novel flexible Organic Light Emitting Diodes(OLEDs). These OLEDs have the capability of being monolithically fabricated over flexible, transparent plastic substrates and having power efficient ways of addressing high density arrays of LEDs. This thesis critically evaluates the technology by identifying the key advantages, current limitations and experimentally assessing the technology in in-vivo and in-vitro animal models. For in-vivo testing, the emitted light from a flat OLED panel was directly used to stimulate the neo-cortex in the M1 region of transgenic mice expressing ChR2 (B6.Cg-Tg (Thy1-ChR2/EYFP) 9Gfng/J). An alternative stimulation paradigm using a collimating optical system coupled with an optical fiber was used for stimulating neurons in layer 5 of the motor cortex in the same transgenic mice. EMG activity was recorded from the contralateral vastus lateralis muscles. In vitro testing of the OLEDs was done in primary cortical neurons in culture transfected with blue light sensitive ChR2. The neurons were cultured on a microelectrode array for taking neuronal recordings.
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