Ultraminiaturized photovoltaic and radio frequency powered optoelectronic systems for wireless optogenetics

Sung Il Park, Gunchul Shin, Anthony Banks, Jordan G. McCall, Edward R. Siuda, Martin J. Schmidt, Ha Uk Chung, Kyung Nim Noh, Jonathan Guo Han Mun, Justin Rhodes, Michael R. Bruchas, John A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective. Wireless control and power harvesting systems that operate injectable, cellular-scale optoelectronic components provide important demonstrated capabilities in neuromodulatory techniques such as optogenetics. Here, we report a radio frequency (RF) control/harvesting device that offers dramatically reduced size, decreased weight and improved efficiency compared to previously reported technologies. Combined use of this platform with ultrathin, multijunction, high efficiency solar cells allows for hundred-fold reduction of transmitted RF power, which greatly enhances the wireless coverage. Approach. Fabrication involves separate construction of the harvester and the injectable μ-ILEDs. To test whether the presence of the implantable device alters behavior, we implanted one group of wild type mice and compared sociability behavior to unaltered controls. Social interaction experiments followed protocols defined by Silverman et al. with minor modifications. Main results. The results presented here demonstrate that miniaturized RF harvesters, and RF control strategies with photovoltaic harvesters can, when combined with injectable μ-ILEDs, offer versatile capabilities in optogenetics. Experimental and modeling studies establish a range of effective operating conditions for these two approaches. Optogenetics studies with social groups of mice demonstrate the utility of these systems. Significance. The addition of miniaturized, high performance photovoltaic cells significantly expands the operating range and reduces the required RF power. The platform can offer capabilities to modulate signaling path in the brain region of freely-behaving animals. These suggest its potential for widespread use in neuroscience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056002
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 21 2015


  • energy harvesting
  • flexible optoelectronics
  • optogenetics
  • photovoltaics
  • radio frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biomedical Engineering


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