First optogenetics system

By Barbara Goode
Optogenetics has been a hot topic at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting for the past few years. Now, with the 2011 edition, the event has seen the first introduction of an optogenetics-specific product.

The Spectralynx system aims to facilitate "a turnkey, out-of-the-box experience with optogenetic hardware and software," at a lower price than multiple-laser systems. Offering power OVER 100 mW/mm2 , the unit comes in two- (orange and blue) and four- (plus green and red) color versions. Both versions can be expanded up to seven colors, and all colors can be pulsed up to 5 kHz at full power.

The system, offered by Neuralynx (Bozeman, MT), was designed by Alex Cadotte, Ph.D., a biomedical engineer who used optogenetics for his neuroscience research in Pediatric Neurology at the University of Florida. Cadotte says that because no turnkey option existed, the learning curve for doing optogenetics was steep and time-consuming. Moving to industry, he sought to create an easy to use, integrated solution, and found a willing partner in Neuralynx, provider of recording systems for electrophysiology and neuroscience research.

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