Infrared neural stimulation: Beam path in the guinea pig cochlea

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It has been demonstrated that INS can be utilized to stimulate spiral ganglion cells in the cochlea. Although neural stimulation can be achieved without direct contact of the radiation source and the tissue, the presence of fluids or bone between the target structure and the radiation source may lead to absorption or scattering of the radiation, which may limit the efficacy of INS. The present study demonstrates the neural structures in the radiation beam path that can be stimulated. Histological reconstructions and microCT of guinea pig cochleae stimulated with an infrared laser suggest that the orientation of the beam from the optical fiber determined the site of stimulation in the cochlea. Best frequencies of the INS-evoked neural responses obtained from the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus matched the histological sites in the spiral ganglion.

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