Curated Optogenetic Publication Database

Search precisely and efficiently by using the advantage of the hand-assigned publication tags that allow you to search for papers involving a specific trait, e.g. a particular optogenetic switch or a host organism.

Showing 1 - 25 of 330 results

Selective induction of programmed cell death using synthetic biology tools.

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Semin Cell Dev Biol, 17 Aug 2023 DOI: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2023.07.012 Link to full text
Abstract: Regulated cell death (RCD) controls the removal of dispensable, infected or malignant cells, and is thus essential for development, homeostasis and immunity of multicellular organisms. Over the last years different forms of RCD have been described (among them apoptosis, necroptosis, pyroptosis and ferroptosis), and the cellular signaling pathways that control their induction and execution have been characterized at the molecular level. It has also become apparent that different forms of RCD differ in their capacity to elicit inflammation or an immune response, and that RCD pathways show a remarkable plasticity. Biochemical and genetic studies revealed that inhibition of a given pathway often results in the activation of back-up cell death mechanisms, highlighting close interconnectivity based on shared signaling components and the assembly of multivalent signaling platforms that can initiate different forms of RCD. Due to this interconnectivity and the pleiotropic effects of 'classical' cell death inducers, it is challenging to study RCD pathways in isolation. This has led to the development of tools based on synthetic biology that allow the targeted induction of RCD using chemogenetic or optogenetic methods. Here we discuss recent advances in the development of such toolset, highlighting their advantages and limitations, and their application for the study of RCD in cells and animals.

Design principles for engineering light-controlled antibodies.

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Trends Biotechnol, 26 Jul 2023 DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2023.06.006 Link to full text
Abstract: Engineered antibodies are essential tools for research and advanced pharmacy. In the development of therapeutics, antibodies are excellent candidates as they offer both target recognition and modulation. Thanks to the latest advances in biotechnology, light-activated antibody fragments can be constructed to control spontaneous antigen interaction with high spatiotemporal precision. To implement conditional antigen binding, several optogenetic and optochemical engineering concepts have recently been developed. Here, we highlight the various strategies and discuss the features of opto-conditional antibodies. Each concept offers intrinsic advantages beneficial to different applications. In summary, the novel design approaches constitute a complementary toolset to promote current and upcoming antibody technologies with ultimate precision.

Shining a light on RhoA: Optical control of cell contractility.

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Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 20 Jun 2023 DOI: 10.1016/j.biocel.2023.106442 Link to full text
Abstract: In addition to biochemical and electrochemical signaling, cells also rely extensively on mechanical signaling to regulate their behavior. While a number of tools have been adapted from physics and engineering to manipulate cell mechanics, they typically require specialized equipment or lack spatiotemporal precision. Alternatively, a recent, more elegant approach is to use light itself to modulate the mechanical equilibrium inside the cell. This approach leverages the power of optogenetics, which can be controlled in a fully reversible manner in both time and space, to tune RhoA signaling, the master regulator of cellular contractility. We review here the fundamentals of this approach, including illustrating the tunability and flexibility that optogenetics offers, and demonstrate how this tool can be used to modulate both internal cytoskeletal flows and contractile force generation. Together these features highlight the advantages that optogenetics offers for investigating mechanical interactions in cells.

Optogenetic Methods in Plant Biology.

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Annu Rev Plant Biol, 22 May 2023 DOI: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-071122-094840 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetics is a technique employing natural or genetically engineered photoreceptors in transgene organisms to manipulate biological activities with light. Light can be turned on or off, and adjusting its intensity and duration allows optogenetic fine-tuning of cellular processes in a noninvasive and spatiotemporally resolved manner. Since the introduction of Channelrhodopsin-2 and phytochrome-based switches nearly 20 years ago, optogenetic tools have been applied in a variety of model organisms with enormous success, but rarely in plants. For a long time, the dependence of plant growth on light and the absence of retinal, the rhodopsin chromophore, prevented the establishment of plant optogenetics until recent progress overcame these difficulties. We summarize the recent results of work in the field to control plant growth and cellular motion via green light-gated ion channels and present successful applications to light-control gene expression with single or combined photoswitches in plants. Furthermore, we highlight the technical requirements and options for future plant optogenetic research.

Light-responsive nanomedicine for cancer immunotherapy.

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Acta Pharm Sin B, 19 May 2023 DOI: 10.1016/j.apsb.2023.05.016 Link to full text
Abstract: Immunotherapy emerged as a paradigm shift in cancer treatments, which can effectively inhibit cancer progression by activating the immune system. Remarkable clinical outcomes have been achieved through recent advances in cancer immunotherapy, including checkpoint blockades, adoptive cellular therapy, cancer vaccine, and tumor microenvironment modulation. However, extending the application of immunotherapy in cancer patients has been limited by the low response rate and side effects such as autoimmune toxicities. With great progress being made in nanotechnology, nanomedicine has been exploited to overcome biological barriers for drug delivery. Given the spatiotemporal control, light-responsive nanomedicine is of great interest in designing precise modality for cancer immunotherapy. Herein, we summarized current research utilizing light-responsive nanoplatforms to enhance checkpoint blockade immunotherapy, facilitate targeted delivery of cancer vaccines, activate immune cell functions, and modulate tumor microenvironment. The clinical translation potential of those designs is highlighted and challenges for the next breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy are discussed.

The clinical potential of optogenetic interrogation of pathogenesis.

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Clin Transl Med, May 2023 DOI: 10.1002/ctm2.1243 Link to full text
Abstract: Opsin-based optogenetics has emerged as a powerful biomedical tool using light to control protein conformation. Such capacity has been initially demonstrated to control ion flow across the cell membrane, enabling precise control of action potential in excitable cells such as neurons or muscle cells. Further advancement in optogenetics incorporates a greater variety of photoactivatable proteins and results in flexible control of biological processes, such as gene expression and signal transduction, with commonly employed light sources such as LEDs or lasers in optical microscopy. Blessed by the precise genetic targeting specificity and superior spatiotemporal resolution, optogenetics offers new biological insights into physiological and pathological mechanisms underlying health and diseases. Recently, its clinical potential has started to be capitalized, particularly for blindness treatment, due to the convenient light delivery into the eye.

Engineering synthetic biomolecular condensates.

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Nat Rev Bioeng, 17 Apr 2023 DOI: 10.1038/s44222-023-00052-6 Link to full text
Abstract: The concept of phase-separation-mediated formation of biomolecular condensates provides a new framework to understand cellular organization and cooperativity-dependent cellular functions. With growing understanding of how biological systems drive phase separation and how cellular functions are encoded by biomolecular condensates, opportunities have emerged for cellular control through engineering of synthetic biomolecular condensates. In this Review, we discuss how to construct synthetic biomolecular condensates and how they can regulate cellular functions. We first describe the fundamental principles by which biomolecular components can drive phase separation. Next, we discuss the relationship between the properties of condensates and their cellular functions, which informs the design of components to create programmable synthetic condensates. Finally, we describe recent applications of synthetic biomolecular condensates for cellular control and discuss some of the design considerations and prospective applications.

Bioelectricity in Developmental Patterning and Size Control: Evidence and Genetically Encoded Tools in the Zebrafish Model.

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Cells, 13 Apr 2023 DOI: 10.3390/cells12081148 Link to full text
Abstract: Developmental patterning is essential for regulating cellular events such as axial patterning, segmentation, tissue formation, and organ size determination during embryogenesis. Understanding the patterning mechanisms remains a central challenge and fundamental interest in developmental biology. Ion-channel-regulated bioelectric signals have emerged as a player of the patterning mechanism, which may interact with morphogens. Evidence from multiple model organisms reveals the roles of bioelectricity in embryonic development, regeneration, and cancers. The Zebrafish model is the second most used vertebrate model, next to the mouse model. The zebrafish model has great potential for elucidating the functions of bioelectricity due to many advantages such as external development, transparent early embryogenesis, and tractable genetics. Here, we review genetic evidence from zebrafish mutants with fin-size and pigment changes related to ion channels and bioelectricity. In addition, we review the cell membrane voltage reporting and chemogenetic tools that have already been used or have great potential to be implemented in zebrafish models. Finally, new perspectives and opportunities for bioelectricity research with zebrafish are discussed.

Genetically encoded imaging tools for investigating cell dynamics at a glance.

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J Cell Sci, 11 Apr 2023 DOI: 10.1242/jcs.260783 Link to full text
Abstract: The biology of a cell is the sum of many highly dynamic processes, each orchestrated by a plethora of proteins and other molecules. Microscopy is an invaluable approach to spatially and temporally dissect the molecular details of these processes. Hundreds of genetically encoded imaging tools have been developed that allow cell scientists to determine the function of a protein of interest in the context of these dynamic processes. Broadly, these tools fall into three strategies: observation, inhibition and activation. Using examples for each strategy, in this Cell Science at a Glance and the accompanying poster, we provide a guide to using these tools to dissect protein function in a given cellular process. Our focus here is on tools that allow rapid modification of proteins of interest and how observing the resulting changes in cell states is key to unlocking dynamic cell processes. The aim is to inspire the reader's next set of imaging experiments.

Live Imaging with Genetically Encoded Physiologic Sensors and Optogenetic Tools.

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J Invest Dermatol, Mar 2023 DOI: 10.1016/j.jid.2022.12.002 Link to full text
Abstract: Barrier tissues such as the epidermis employ complex signal transduction systems to execute morphogenetic programs and to rapidly respond to environmental cues to promote homeostasis. Recent advances in live-imaging techniques and tools allow precise spatial and temporal monitoring and manipulation of intracellular signaling cascades. Leveraging the chemistry of naturally occurring light-sensitive proteins, genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors have emerged as robust tools for visualizing dynamic signaling events. In contrast, optogenetic protein constructs permit laser-mediated control of signal receptors and effectors within live cells, organoids, and even model organisms. In this paper, we review the basic principles underlying novel biosensors and optogenetic tools and highlight how recent studies in cutaneous biology have leveraged these imaging strategies to illuminate the spatiotemporal signals regulating epidermal development, barrier formation, and tissue homeostasis.

RhoA regulation in space and time.

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FEBS Lett, 19 Jan 2023 DOI: 10.1002/1873-3468.14578 Link to full text
Abstract: RhoGTPases are well known for being controllers of cell cytoskeleton and share common features in the way they act and are controlled. These include their switch from GDP to GTP states, their regulations by different guanine exchange factors (GEFs), GTPase-activating proteins and guanosine dissociation inhibitors (GDIs), and their similar structure of active sites/membrane anchors. These very similar features often lead to the common consideration that the differences in their biological effects mainly arise from the different types of regulators and specific effectors associated with each GTPase. Focusing on data obtained through biosensors, live cell microscopy and recent optogenetic approaches, we highlight in this review that the regulation of RhoA appears to depart from Cdc42 and Rac1 modes of regulation through its enhanced lability at the plasma membrane. RhoA presents a high dynamic turnover at the membrane that is regulated not only by GDIs but also by GEFs, effectors and a possible soluble conformational state. This peculiarity of RhoA regulation may be important for the specificities of its functions, such as the existence of activity waves or its putative dual role in the initiation of protrusions and contractions.

Using optogenetics to investigate the shared mechanisms of apical-basal polarity and mitosis.

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Cells Tissues Organs, 4 Jan 2023 DOI: 10.1159/000528796 Link to full text
Abstract: The initiation of apical-basal (AB) polarity and the process of mitotic cell division are both characterised by the generation of specialised plasma membrane and cortical domains. These are generated using shared mechanisms, such as asymmetric protein accumulation, Rho GTPase signalling, cytoskeletal reorganisation, vesicle trafficking and asymmetric phosphoinositide distribution. In epithelial tissue, the coordination of AB polarity and mitosis in space and time is important both during initial epithelial development and to maintain tissue integrity and ensure appropriate cell differentiation at later stages. Whilst significant progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms underlying cell division and AB polarity, it has so far been challenging to fully unpick the complex interrelationship between polarity, signalling, morphogenesis, and cell division. However, the recent emergence of optogenetic protein localisation techniques is now allowing researchers to reversibly control protein activation, localisation and signalling with high spatiotemporal resolution. This has the potential to revolutionise our understanding of how subcellular processes such as apical-basal polarity are integrated with cell behaviours such as mitosis and how these processes impact whole tissue morphogenesis. So far, these techniques have been used to investigate processes such as cleavage furrow ingression, mitotic spindle positioning, and in vivo epithelial morphogenesis. This review describes some of the key shared mechanisms of cell division and apical-basal polarity establishment, how they are coordinated during development and how the advance of optogenetic techniques is furthering this research field.

Multiomics and optobiotechnological approaches for the development of microalgal strain for production of aviation biofuel and biorefinery.

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Bioresour Technol, 9 Dec 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2022.128457 Link to full text
Abstract: Demand and consumption of fossil fuels is increasing daily, and oil reserves are depleting. Technological developments are required towards developing sustainable renewable energy sources and microalgae are emerging as a potential candidate for various application-driven research. Molecular understanding attained through omics and system biology approach empowering researchers to modify various metabolic pathways of microalgal system for efficient extraction of biofuel and important biomolecules. This review furnish insight into different "advanced approaches" like optogenetics, systems biology and multi-omics for enhanced production of FAS (Fatty Acid Synthesis) and lipids in microalgae and their associated challenges. These new approaches would be helpful in the path of developing microalgae inspired technological platforms for optobiorefinery, which could be explored as source material to produce biofuels and other valuable bio-compounds on a large scale.

Precise modulation of embryonic development through optogenetics.

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Genesis, 7 Dec 2022 DOI: 10.1002/dvg.23505 Link to full text
Abstract: The past decade has witnessed enormous progress in optogenetics, which uses photo-sensitive proteins to control signal transduction in live cells and animals. The ever-increasing amount of optogenetic tools, however, could overwhelm the selection of appropriate optogenetic strategies. In this work, we summarize recent progress in this emerging field and highlight the application of opsin-free optogenetics in studying embryonic development, focusing on new insights gained into optical induction of morphogenesis, cell polarity, cell fate determination, tissue differentiation, neuronal regeneration, synaptic plasticity, and removal of cells during development.

Light-regulated gene expression in Bacteria: Fundamentals, advances, and perspectives.

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Front Bioeng Biotechnol, 14 Oct 2022 DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2022.1029403 Link to full text
Abstract: Numerous photoreceptors and genetic circuits emerged over the past two decades and now enable the light-dependent i.e., optogenetic, regulation of gene expression in bacteria. Prompted by light cues in the near-ultraviolet to near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, gene expression can be up- or downregulated stringently, reversibly, non-invasively, and with precision in space and time. Here, we survey the underlying principles, available options, and prominent examples of optogenetically regulated gene expression in bacteria. While transcription initiation and elongation remain most important for optogenetic intervention, other processes e.g., translation and downstream events, were also rendered light-dependent. The optogenetic control of bacterial expression predominantly employs but three fundamental strategies: light-sensitive two-component systems, oligomerization reactions, and second-messenger signaling. Certain optogenetic circuits moved beyond the proof-of-principle and stood the test of practice. They enable unprecedented applications in three major areas. First, light-dependent expression underpins novel concepts and strategies for enhanced yields in microbial production processes. Second, light-responsive bacteria can be optogenetically stimulated while residing within the bodies of animals, thus prompting the secretion of compounds that grant health benefits to the animal host. Third, optogenetics allows the generation of precisely structured, novel biomaterials. These applications jointly testify to the maturity of the optogenetic approach and serve as blueprints bound to inspire and template innovative use cases of light-regulated gene expression in bacteria. Researchers pursuing these lines can choose from an ever-growing, versatile, and efficient toolkit of optogenetic circuits.

Recent Synthetic Biology Approaches for Temperature- and Light-Controlled Gene Expression in Bacterial Hosts.

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Molecules, 11 Oct 2022 DOI: 10.3390/molecules27206798 Link to full text
Abstract: The expression of genes of interest (GOI) can be initiated by providing external stimuli such as temperature shifts and light irradiation. The application of thermal or light stimuli triggers structural changes in stimuli-sensitive biomolecules within the cell, thereby inducing or repressing gene expression. Over the past two decades, several groups have reported genetic circuits that use natural or engineered stimuli-sensitive modules to manipulate gene expression. Here, we summarize versatile strategies of thermosensors and light-driven systems for the conditional expression of GOI in bacterial hosts.

The status and challenges of optogenetic tools for precise spatiotemporal control of RNA metabolism and function.

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Clin Transl Med, Oct 2022 DOI: 10.1002/ctm2.1078 Link to full text
Abstract: Abstract not available.

Creating artificial signaling gradients to spatially pattern engineered tissues.

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Curr Opin Biotechnol, 28 Sep 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.copbio.2022.102810 Link to full text
Abstract: Artificially constructing a fully-fledged tissue - comprising multiple cell types whose identities and spatial arrangements reflect those of a native tissue - remains daunting. There has been impressive progress in generating three-dimensional cell cultures (often dubbed 'organoids') from stem cells. However, it is critical to appreciate that not all such three-dimensional cultures will intrinsically self-organize to spontaneously recreate native tissue architecture. Instead, most tissues in vivo are exogenously patterned by extracellular signaling gradients emanating from organizer cells located outside the tissue. Innovations to impose artificial signaling gradients - using microfluidics, optogenetics, or introducing organizer cells - could thus prove decisive to create spatially patterned tissues in vitro. Additionally, unified terminology to describe these tissue-like simulacra as 'aggregates', 'spheroids', or 'organoids' will be critical for the field.

Proteomic mapping and optogenetic manipulation of membrane contact sites.

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Biochem J, 16 Sep 2022 DOI: 10.1042/bcj20220382 Link to full text
Abstract: Membrane contact sites (MCSs) mediate crucial physiological processes in eukaryotic cells, including ion signaling, lipid metabolism, and autophagy. Dysregulation of MCSs is closely related to various diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), neurodegenerative diseases, and cancers. Visualization, proteomic mapping and manipulation of MCSs may help the dissection of the physiology and pathology MCSs. Recent technical advances have enabled better understanding of the dynamics and functions of MCSs. Here we present a summary of currently known functions of MCSs, with a focus on optical approaches to visualize and manipulate MCSs, as well as proteomic mapping within MCSs.

Ligand-independent receptor clustering modulates transmembrane signaling: a new paradigm.

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Trends Biochem Sci, 14 Sep 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.tibs.2022.08.002 Link to full text
Abstract: Cell-surface receptors mediate communication between cells and their environment. Lateral membrane organization and dynamic receptor cluster formation are fundamental in signal transduction and cell signaling. However, it is not yet fully understood how receptor clustering modulates a wide variety of physiologically relevant processes. Recent growing evidence indicates that biological responses triggered by membrane receptors can be modulated even in the absence of the natural receptor ligand. We review the most recent findings on how ligand-independent receptor clustering can regulate transmembrane signaling. We discuss the latest technologies to control receptor assembly, such as DNA nanotechnology, optogenetics, and optochemistry, focusing on the biological relevance and unraveling of ligand-independent signaling.

The bright frontiers of microbial metabolic optogenetics.

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Curr Opin Chem Biol, 11 Sep 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2022.102207 Link to full text
Abstract: In recent years, light-responsive systems from the field of optogenetics have been applied to several areas of metabolic engineering with remarkable success. By taking advantage of light's high tunability, reversibility, and orthogonality to host endogenous processes, optogenetic systems have enabled unprecedented dynamical controls of microbial fermentations for chemical production, metabolic flux analysis, and population compositions in co-cultures. In this article, we share our opinions on the current state of this new field of metabolic optogenetics.We make the case that it will continue to impact metabolic engineering in increasingly new directions, with the potential to challenge existing paradigms for metabolic pathway and strain optimization as well as bioreactor operation.

Nano-optogenetic immunotherapy.

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Clin Transl Med, Sep 2022 DOI: 10.1002/ctm2.1020 Link to full text
Abstract: Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell-based immunotherapy has been increasingly used in the clinic for cancer intervention over the past 5 years. CAR T-cell therapy takes advantage of genetically-modified T cells to express synthetic CAR molecules on the cell surface. To date, up to six CAR T cell therapy products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of leukaemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. In addition, hundreds of CAR-T products are currently under clinical trials to treat solid tumours. In both the fundamental research and clinical applications, CAR T cell immunotherapy has achieved exciting progress with remarkable remission or suppression of cancers. However, CAR T cell-based immunotherapy still faces significant safety issues, as exemplified by "on-target off-tumour" cytotoxicity due to lack of strict antigen specificity. In addition, uncontrolled massive activation of infused CAR T cells may create severe systemic inflammation with cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity. These challenges call for a need to combine nanotechnology and optogenetics with immunoengineering to develop spatiotemporally-controllable CAR T cells, which enable wireless photo-tunable activation of therapeutic immune cells to deliver personalised therapy in the tumour microenvironment.

Shedding light on current trends in molecular optogenetics.

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Curr Opin Chem Biol, 18 Aug 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2022.102196 Link to full text
Abstract: Molecular optogenetics is a highly dynamic research field. In the past two years, the field was characterized by the development of new allosteric switches as well as the forward integration of optogenetics research towards application. Further, two areas of research have significantly gathered momentum, the use of optogenetics to control liquid-liquid phase separation as well as the application of optogenetic tools in the extracellular space. Here, we review these areas and discuss future directions.

Illuminating bacterial behaviors with optogenetics.

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Curr Opin Solid State Mater Sci, 9 Aug 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.cossms.2022.101023 Link to full text
Abstract: Optogenetic approaches enable light-mediated control of cellular activities using genetically encoded photoreceptors. While optogenetic technology is already well established in neuroscience and fundamental research, the implementation of optogenetic tools in bacteriology is still emerging. Engineered bacteria with the specific optogenetic system that function at the transcriptional or post-translational level can sense and respond to light, allowing optogenetic control of bacterial behaviors. In this review, we give a brief overview of available optogenetic systems, including their mode of action, classification, and engineering strategies, and focus on optogenetic control of bacterial behaviors with the highlight of strategies for use of optogenetic systems.

Optogenetics for light control of biological systems

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Nat Rev Methods Primers, 21 Jul 2022 DOI: 10.1038/s43586-022-00149-z Link to full text
Abstract: The H2 + H2 system has long been considered a benchmark system for ro-vibrational energy transfer in bimolecular collisions. However, most studies thus far have focused on collisions involving H2 molecules in the ground vibrational level or in the first excited vibrational state. While H2 + H2/HD collisions have received wide attention due to the important role they play in astrophysics, D2 + D2 collisions have received much less attention. Recently, Zhou et al. [ Nat. Chem. 2022, 14, 658-663, DOI: 10.1038/s41557-022-00926-z] examined stereodynamic aspects of rotational energy transfer in collisions of two aligned D2 molecules prepared in the v = 2 vibrational level and j = 2 rotational level. Here, we report quantum calculations of rotational and vibrational energy transfer in collisions of two D2 molecules prepared in vibrational levels up to v = 2 and identify key resonance features that contribute to the angular distribution in the experimental results of Zhou et al. The quantum scattering calculations were performed in full dimensionality and using the rigid-rotor approximation using a recently developed highly accurate six-dimensional potential energy surface for the H4 system that allows descriptions of collisions involving highly vibrationally excited H2 and its isotopologues.
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