Scientists reveal a new era of brain therapy with airy-beam sonogenetics

In a groundbreaking study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers introduce a novel method of brain therapy using Airy-beam holographic metasurfaces and sonogenetics, showcasing significant advancements in neuromodulation techniques.

This method is notable for its precision and flexibility, enabling targeted brain region stimulation without invasive surgery.

The research detailed the design and manufacturing of wearable ultrasound devices incorporating Airy-beam metasurfaces [1]. These devices, created through 3D printing, integrate with planar transducers to generate focused ultrasound fields capable of modulating brain activity.

The devices are characterized by their ability to dynamically steer ultrasound beams, adjusting the focal depth and targeting different brain regions without altering the metasurface.

One critical application demonstrated in the study is the modulation of specific brain subregions in mice to understand complex neural functions. The devices have been used to stimulate areas in the mouse brain that control distinct behaviors, such as movement and reaction to stimuli, which are critical for studies in neurological disorders.

Additionally, this technique has been applied to a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease, showing that AhSonogenetics can alleviate motor deficits typically associated with the disease [2]. This was achieved by bilateral stimulation of the dorsal striatum, leading to enhanced mobility in the mice without the adverse effects expected with traditional treatments.

These findings suggest that Airy-beam sonogenetics could revolutionize how neurological disorders are treated, offering a noninvasive, highly precise, and flexible method of brain therapy.

The study not only underscores the potential of this technology in research but also opens pathways for its application in clinical settings, providing a foundation for future treatments of various brain-related conditions.

[1] https://www.pnas.org/doi/epdf/10.1073/pnas.2402200121
[2] https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Efficient-sonogenetically-enabled-dopamine-release-in-the-NAc-through-modulation-of-the_fig3_370950577

Photograph: DC_Studio/Envato
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