what is "optogenetics"?
Optogenetics is a relatively young discipline in the research field of biology investigating possibilities to remotely control genetically modified cells with visible light. Optically controlled substances (photoswitches) are powerful tools to study signaling pathways in living cells. They have rapidly been gaining popularity because they can be used to decipher the wiring of signaling pathways with high spacial and temporal resolution.
The key novelty of optogenetics compared to “old school” signaling studies is the possibility to remotely manipulate biological systems in a non-invasive manner. This is based on the ability of photoswitches to change their conformation and binding affinity when illuminated with light. By fusing these switches to signaling elements one can study the function of virtually any protein within the human body. In theory, any protein of choice at any location of a biological system (or cell) can be manipulated without touching it. This will advance basic research as well as the development of novel therapeutics.
To regulate optogenetic tools (and all other optically controlled substances), they need to be illuminated with a specific wavelength. Although wavelength specific illumination devices are available (LED-flashlights etc.) they are often not suited for a particular experimental approach. We develop illumination devices suited to your experimental approach. Have a look in our product section and find the right illumination device for your optogenetic cell system. Do not hesitate to contact us if you cannot find a suitable solution. We build customized illumination devices tailored to your problem.
still using flashlights for your optogenetic experiments?
new to optogenetics?
There is no shame in never having heard of optogenetics. But we are so excited about this new technology, that we want to help you getting into it. Check out our publication area to find some reviews for easy reading and some exciting papers if you really want to get into it.