Illuminating developmental biology with cellular optogenetics

Heath E. Johnson, Jared E. Toettcher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

In developmental biology, localization is everything. The same stimulus — cell signaling event or expression of a gene — can have dramatically different effects depending on the time, spatial position, and cell types in which it is applied. Yet the field has long lacked the ability to deliver localized perturbations with high specificity in vivo. The advent of optogenetic tools, capable of delivering highly localized stimuli, is thus poised to profoundly expand our understanding of development. We describe the current state-of-the-art in cellular optogenetic tools, review the first wave of major studies showcasing their application in vivo, and discuss major obstacles that must be overcome if the promise of developmental optogenetics is to be fully realized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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