The term ‘optogenetics’ refers to a type of biological technique, which involves a combination of genetics and optics. This technique is used in numerous technologies which are specifically designed to control the living cells of animal tissue. Unlike the former experimental procedures of light control, optogenetics permits the researchers to control the living cells with extraordinary resolution and precision. Thus, the technique is applied to control some behaviors in animals, such as blocking natural responses to fear or pain. Because of these benefits of the technique, the optogenetic market has grown quite rapidly within just a few years.
The development of optogenetics started in the year of 2004 and went on till the year of 2009. Over the years, this technique has helped to unveil many neurological mysteries. At first, this method was used in the field of neuroscience. However, as of now, optogenetics is being used for studying numerous other fields and studies, such as the stem cells, cardiac tissues and the overall development of several organisms.
Major key Players
Cobalt International Energy
Laser Glow Technology
The technologies of optogenetics generally work in numerous steps. At first, genes from some single-cell organisms are collected and adapted to use as tools. These genes are known to produce light-sensitive proteins, which generally function as the ion pumps or channels. After that, some special optical tools are used to aim pulses of lights towards specific regions in the tissue. The light pulses are known to stimulate the proteins and, therefore, produce an electrical current in the cells. Depending on the proteins, which have been used in the process, the current either inhibits or activates the cells.
The main ingredients, which are used for the application of this technique, are light-sensitive proteins. The control over the neuronal cells is generally achieved by using various optogenetic actuators, such as archaerhodopsin, halorhodopsin, and channelrhodopsin. As the name suggests, archaerhodopsin is a type of receptor protein, which can be found in a single cell organism named Archaea. The archaerhodopsins are one of the most popular optogenetics tools. Halorhodopsin is another light-sensitive protein which is commonly found in the Archaea. Channelrhodopsin is a type of retinylidene protein which functions as the light-gated ion channels.
The occurrence of neuronal diseases, such as epilepsy, is ever-increasing in North America. Thus, the North American countries are expected to lead the optogenetic market in the upcoming years as the usage of the optogenetic devices is also increasing in this region. However, the optogenetic market in some of the Asian, African, as well as European countries, is also known to be growing rapidly due to the same reason. As of now, the optogenetic technique is being used on live animals only. However, as mentioned before, the usage of this technique in numerous research and academic labs is growing quite rapidly, which is helping to drive the global optogenetic market.
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