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Wookjin Shin, Yeongdo Lee, Jueun Lim, Youbin Lee, Jungsu David Lah, Somin Lee, Jung-uk Lee, Ri Yu, Phil Hyu Lee, Jae-Hyun Lee, Minsuk Kwak*, and Jinwoo Cheon*
Nanoscale Magneto-mechanical-genetics of Deep Brain Neurons Reversing Motor Deficits in Parkinsonian Mice
Nano Lett., 24 (1), 270–278
Date: Dec 29, 2023

Here, we introduce the magneto-mechanical-genetic (MMG)-driven wireless deep brain stimulation (DBS) using magnetic nanostructures for therapeutic benefits in the mouse model of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Electrical DBS of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is an effective therapy for mitigating Parkinson’s motor symptoms. However, its broader application is hampered by the requirement for implanted electrodes and the lack of anatomical and cellular specificity. Using the nanoscale magnetic force actuators (m-Torquer), which deliver torque force under rotating magnetic fields to activate pre-encoded Piezo1 ion channels on target neurons, our system enables wireless and STN-specific DBS without implants, addressing key unmet challenges in the DBS field. In both late- and early-stage PD mice, MMG-DBS significantly improved locomotor activity and motor balance by 2-fold compared to untreated PD mice. Moreover, MMG-DBS enabled sustained therapeutic effects. This approach provides a non-invasive and implant-free DBS with cellular targeting capability for the effective treatment of Parkinsonian symptoms.

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