Traditionally, artificial contractions of muscles have been induced electrically, mechanically or pharmacologically to investigated their functional characteristics. Although simple and convenient, these techniques are generally non-specific, non-uniform and invasive. To improve the spatiotemporal resolution and to reduce the invasiveness, the optogenetic approach using light-sensitive proteins has attracted attention as a new method. Recent examples include using channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), a light-activated ion channel from a green alga, for optical pacing of cardiomyocytes, the optical control of C2C12 myoblast-derived myotubes and the optically induced maturation of cultured myotubes. The optical manipulation of muscle activities would facilitate in vitro studies of muscle contraction through manipulating/modulating specific biological processes during myogenic development. It has potential therapeutic applications for producing light-sensitive human muscle substitutes for muscle weakness such as muscular dystrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It could also enable the development of a wireless driving source of muscle-powered actuators/microdevices. Here, this chapter reviews a general overview of the state of research and future prospects and challenges of optogenetics for muscle cells.
|Title of host publication||Muscle Cells|
|Subtitle of host publication||Development, Disorders and Regeneration|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2013 Jan|
ASJC Scopus subject areas