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Gang Han optogenetic research named a top paper of 2019 by Cell

By Jim Fessenden

UMass Medical School Communications

January 22, 2020
 
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Gang Han, PhD

Optogenetic research by Gang Han, PhD, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, was selected as one of nine top research articles by Cell for 2019 in the journal’s annual review.

The article, “Mammalian Near-Infrared Image Vision through Injectable and Self-Powered Retinal Nanoantennae,” explores how Dr. Han developed technology to give night vision to mammals through a simple injection. Once implanted with this nanoantennae, the animals were able to see light beyond the visible spectrum, into the range of infrared light. The study was originally published online on February 28, 2019 and in the April 4 print edition of Cell.

The vision enhancement was temporary and doesn’t interfere with the animal’s ability to see visible light. Han’s research opens translational opportunities for exploring neural networks in the brain and assisting with vision repair.

“With this research, we’ve broadly expanded the applications of our nanoparticle technology both in the lab and translationally,” said Han. “These nanoantennae will allow scientists to explore a number of intriguing questions, from how the brain interprets visual signals to helping treat color blindness.”

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