Red and Blue Shifted Channelrhodopsins


Channelrhodopsins (ChRs) are a type of optogenetic tool that have enabled targeted light-activation of neuron firing in tissue culture and in living organisms. Dr. John Spudich at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston has characterized several ChRs whose properties make them particularly useful for photocontrol of neuron firing, including rapid kinetics.  This technology includes ChRs with both blue-shifted and red-shifted spectral sensitivities. 


Invention Description

Red-Shifted Channelrhodopsins from M. viride (MvChR):

MvChRs are red-shifted ChRs that have long-wavelength spectral sensitivity, which minimizes light scattering by tissues and absorption by hemoglobin and allows for studies with deeper tissue penetration. MvChRs also exhibit rapid kinetics, have faster kinetics than CrChR2 and undergo minimal inactivation.

High-Efficiency, Blue Shifted Channelrhodopsins from P. subcordiformis (PsChR):

PsChRs are blue shifted, making them ideal for pairing with red-shifted ChRs for simultaneous control of multiple cell populations. These PsChRs are sodium-specific and generate currents that show higher amplitude, smaller inactivation and faster peak recovery compared to currents created by other available ChRs, while still showing similarly fast kinetics.

Market Potential/Applications

This technology is a research tool that can be used to improve optogenetic techniques and could be used in research aimed at developing better diagnostics, preventions, and/or treatments for neuronal or neurologic disorders, as well as for ocular disorders.

IP Status

Issued U.S. patents

Available for licensing


UTHealth Reference Information

Technology ID - 2011-0037, 2016-0029

Office of Technology Management Contact Information

7000 Fannin, Suite 720, Houston, TX, 77030

Phone: (713) 500-3369 Fax: (713) 500-0331




Patent Information:

The preceding is intended to be a non-confidential and limited description of a novel technology created at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). This promotional material is not comprehensive in scope and should not replace company’s diligence in a thorough evaluation of the technology. Please contact the Office of Technology Management for more information regarding this technology.
Research Materials
For Information, Contact:
Hannah Nelson
Senior Technology License Associate
University of Texas Health Science Center At Houston
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