The global optogenetics market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Optogenetics controls the neural activity by combining genetic engineering and optical tools. Optogenetics is widely used in neuroscience for modulation of neural circuits with a high degree of precision and specificity. Optogenetics facilitates a wide range of experiments for a better understanding of neural circuits in dysfunctional and normal behavior. Optogenetics offers an advantage over traditional methods due to its ability to provide spatial and temporal precision for cell targeting. The research work regarding the development and applications of the optogenetic tools is anticipated to witness rapid progress in the next few decades. This can be attributed to technological advancements, increasing incidences of depression, mood disorders, social disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and other related disorders. However, the lack of awareness, cost-intensive technologies are some factors restraining the growth of the optogenetics market.
The optogenetic actuators are the proteins that change their conformation when exposed to light resulting in altered cell behavior. These actuators can be used for either stimulation or inhibition of multiple or single action potentials. The most widely used actuators are opsins. These are naturally occurring transmembrane proteins. There are two types of opsins, type I was initially used for neural experiments and are currently used as a source for engineered or natural opsins whereas Type II is primarily used for modulating vision and circadian rhythms. The opsins are also grouped as per their effects on neural signaling or activity namely stimulation of neural activity and inhibition of neural activity. Channelrhodopsins (ChRs) are the example of opsins with stimulatory activity whereas NpHR is an example of inhibitory opsin.
The light sources used for illuminating the neuron, lasers, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Lasers are the most widely used illuminating source since they enable the use of narrow bandwidth and can also be effectively used in combination with optical fibers. The combination of laser with optical fibers also facilitates the application of optogenetics in deeper manipulation of brain structure. LEDs offer low-cost alternatives to optical stimulation. However, the low efficiency with optical fibers limits the use of LEDs for certain applications.
Applications of optogenetics for the understanding of dysfunctional and normal behavior is widening rapidly. Optogenetics can be used to study the underlying factors in case of depression, anxiety, addictions, mood disorders, epilepsy, Parkinson disorders, memory disorders, cardiac disorders, and others.
Some of the key players in the optogenetics market are Coherent Inc., Regenxbio Inc Thorlabs Inc, Noldus, Scientifica and Addgene
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