A computational tool to explore the underlying principles of optogenetic neural stimulation. This "light-neuron" model consists of theoretical representations of the light dynamics generated by a fiber optic in brain tissue, coupled to a multicompartment cable model of a cortical pyramidal neuron (Hu et al. 2009, ModelDB #123897) embedded with channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) membrane dynamics. Simulations predict that the activation threshold is sensitive to many of the properties of ChR2 (density, conductivity, and kinetics), tissue medium (scattering and absorbance), and the fiber-optic light source (diameter and numerical aperture). This model system represents a scientific instrument to characterize the effects of optogenetic neuromodulation, as well as an engineering design tool to help guide future development of optogenetic technology.
Cell Type(s): Neocortex L5/6 pyramidal GLU cell