Skip to main content

Infrared Neural Stimulation in Humans

Studies by our group have demonstrated that infrared neural stimulation has unique advantages over traditional electrical stimulation in certain situations.  Contact and artifact free high spatial precision stimulation would be advantageous in certain clinical situations, such as mapping of nerves during tumor resection or providing better frequency encoding in cochlea implants.  With these applications in mind, our group has performed the first study to apply INS in humans.  In patients undergoing selective dorsal root rhizotomy, we have shown that INS can activate dorsal roots with better spatial precision than electrical stimulation.  No artifact was generated from INS and stimulation could be achieved in a contact free method.  The results of this study have established the efficacy needed to start additional clinical trials to improve upon current standard of care where electrical stimulation has proven to be inadequate.


Cayce JM, Wells JD, Malphrus JD, Kao CC, Thomsen S, Tulipan NB, Konrad PE, Jansen ED, Mahadevan-Jansen A. Advancing infrared neural stimulation towards use in humans. Nature Medicine (submitted).

Feng HJ, Kao CC, Gallagher MJ, Jansen ED, Mahadevan-Jansen A, Konrad PE, MacDonald RL – Alteration of GABAergic neurotransmission by pulsed infrared laser stimulation – J Neural Engineering (in press).