Thermal damage threshold of neurons during infrared stimulation
AuthorBrown, WGA; Needham, K; Begeng, JM; Thompson, AC; Nayagam, BA; Kameneva, T; Stoddart, PR
Source TitleBiomedical Optics Express
PublisherOSA - Optical Society of America
AffiliationAudiology and Speech Pathology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsBrown, W. G. A., Needham, K., Begeng, J. M., Thompson, A. C., Nayagam, B. A., Kameneva, T. & Stoddart, P. R. (2020). Thermal damage threshold of neurons during infrared stimulation. Biomedical Optics Express, 11 (4), pp.2224-2234. https://doi.org/10.1364/BOE.383165.
Access StatusOpen Access
ARC Grant codeARC/LP120100264
In infrared neural stimulation (INS), laser-evoked thermal transients are used to generate small depolarising currents in neurons. The laser exposure poses a moderate risk of thermal damage to the target neuron. Indeed, exogenous methods of neural stimulation often place the target neurons under stressful non-physiological conditions, which can hinder ordinary neuronal function and hasten cell death. Therefore, quantifying the exposure-dependent probability of neuronal damage is essential for identifying safe operating limits of INS and other interventions for therapeutic and prosthetic use. Using patch-clamp recordings in isolated spiral ganglion neurons, we describe a method for determining the dose-dependent damage probabilities of individual neurons in response to both acute and cumulative infrared exposure parameters based on changes in injection current. The results identify a local thermal damage threshold at approximately 60 °C, which is in keeping with previous literature and supports the claim that damage during INS is a purely thermal phenomenon. In principle this method can be applied to any potentially injurious stimuli, allowing for the calculation of a wide range of dose-dependent neural damage probabilities. Unlike histological analyses, the technique is well-suited to quantifying gradual neuronal damage, and critical threshold behaviour is not required.
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