|Keywords:||Gold nanoparticles; Neural activity stimulation; Optogenetics; Plasmonic resonance frequency; Photothermal laser heating; Domínio/Área Científica::Engenharia e Tecnologia::Engenharia dos Materiais|
|Full text PDF:||http://www.rcaap.pt/detail.jsp?id=oai:run.unl.pt:10362/16599|
The unique proprieties exhibited by nanoscale particles compared to their macro size counterparts allow for the creation of novel neural activity manipula-tion procedures. In this sense, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) can be used to stimu-late the electrical activity of neuron by converting light into heat. During this dissertation, AuNPs are synthesized by the citrate reduction method, resulting in a hydrodynamic diameter of approximately 16 nm and an absorbance peak of 530 nm. A system to control a 532 nm laser and measure the temperature variation was custom built from scratch specifically for this project. Temperature is then measured with recourse to a thermocouple and through changes in impedance. The built system had in consideration the necessities pre-sented by in vivo tests. Trials were performed by measuring the temperature rise of colloidal AuNP solutions, having the temperature variation reached a maximum of ap-proximately 18 ºC relative to control trials; successfully showing that light is ef-fectively transduced into heat when AuNPs are present. This novel approach enables an alternative to optogenetics, which require the animal to be genetically modified in order to allow neuron stimulation. Advisors/Committee Members: Kampff, Adam, Fortunato, Elvira.