Informal NB & CNS Seminar | Prof. Minsuk Kwak | Wednesday, December 7, 2022 | 1 pm

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
1:00pm to 2:00pm
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Informal Seminar

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 - 1 pm

Chen 100

A High-Performance Magnetogenetics, m-Torquer, for Long-range and Wireless Neuromodulations in Freely Moving Animals

Among physical stimulation modalities, magnetism has clear advantages, such as deep penetration and untethered interventions in biological subjects. We have developed the m-Torquer system, a novel magnetism-based method for untethered, deep brain neuromodulation at a long distance [1]. This system utilizes the magnetic nanoparticles (m-Torquer) capable of generating piconewton-scale mechanical force under a rotating uniform magnetic field to control gating of genetically encoded mechanosensitive ion channels Piezo1. In this talk, I will describe the development of the m-Torquer system that enables robust and reproducible control of neural activity with spatiotemporal accuracy in freely behaving animals. We have also applied our magnetogenetic system for remote gene editing with spatiotemporal precision [2]. I will also present our recent progress in developing essential components of magnetogenetics as an effective and reliable tool for neuroscience. Our magnetogenetic toolbox provides cell-type specific and temporally precise control of deep-brain circuits in a minimally invasive and untethered manner. We have also developed a powerful magnetogenetic inhibition tool based on FLYC1, a mechanosensitive anion channel, for fast and reversible suppression of neuronal firing. This magnetomechanical approach does not require any fixed implants or tethers, thereby permitting chronic stimulation and unconstrained naturalistic behavioural studies. Hence, this approach of magnetogenetics should open new opportunities for interrogating neural mechanism underlying complex behaviours, controlling neurons in large animal models (e.g. primates), and remote therapy for neurological disorders.


[1] Lee, J.; Cheon, J. et. al, Nat. Mater. 2021, 20, 1029.

[2] Shin, W.; Cheon J.; Lee J. H. et al., Nano Letters, 2021, 22, 7415.

Prof. Minsuk Kwak

Institute of Basic Science (IBS) Center for Nanomedicine

Department of Nano-Biomedical Engineering, Yonsei University, South Korea