OBJECTIVE: We aim at developing novel non-invasive or minimally invasive methods for neural stimulation to be applied in the study and treatment of brain (dys)functions and neurological disorders. APPROACH: We investigate the electrophysiological response of in vitro neuronal networks when subjected to low intensity pulsed acoustic stimulation mediated by piezoelectric nanoparticles adsorbed on the neuronal membrane. MAIN RESULTS: We show that the presence of piezoelectric barium titanate nanoparticles induces, in a reproducible way, an increase in the network activity when excited by stationary ultrasound waves in the MHz regime. Such response can be fully recovered when switching the US pulse off and it depends on the generated pressure field amplitude whilst it is insensitive to the duration of the ultrasound pulse in the range 0.5 s - 1.5 s. We demonstrate that the presence of piezoelectric nanoparticles is necessary: when applying the same acoustic stimulation to neuronal cultures without nanoparticles or with non-piezoelectric nanoparticles with the same size distribution, no network response is observed. SIGNIFICANCE: We believe that our results open up an extremely interesting approach, when coupled with suitable functionalization strategies of the nanoparticles in order to address specific neurons and/or brain areas and applied in vivo, enabling remote, non-invasive, and highly selective modulation of the activity of neuronal subpopulations of the central nervous system of mammalians.
|Titolo:||Acoustic stimulation can induce a selective neural network response mediated by piezoelectric nanoparticles|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|