About this Research Topic
The autonomic nervous system has extensive surgically accessible nerve connections with the central nervous system and the body’s organs and systems. This provides the opportunity to exploit rapidly advancing methods of nerve neuromodulation to treat disease. Bioelectric medicine has considerably advanced in the past decade and is routinely used as a therapeutic tool for an increasing number of conditions such as heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders and immune-mediated diseases. Although promising, most methods of electrical stimulation in mixed autonomic nerves do not discriminate between subsets of fibres or subtypes of functional fibre groups, leading to unwanted side effects, reduced treatment efficacy and often failure of the technology to translate into the clinic.
Selective stimulation and/or inhibition of functional populations of autonomic fibres can be achieved by using one or several technologies and techniques: i) specially designed electrical or non-electrical peripheral nerve interfaces that deliver electrical and/or non-electrical selective stimulation/inhibition, including modalities such as optical, ultra-sound or magnetic; ii) transduction of functional populations of autonomic neurons to respond to light using optogenetic technology and; iii) complex stimulation strategies derived from computation modelling. Employing these strategies to selectively control functional populations in the autonomic nervous system is the next step in this field to provide precise neuromodulation therapy.
Here we bring together a range of disciplines, including engineers, neuroscientists, clinicians and computational modellers to develop the next generation of technology and techniques that target the autonomic nervous system to deliver precision therapy. This topic focuses on the application of selective technology/techniques in the autonomic nervous system in health and pre-clinical models of disease, with a particular interest in methods (e.g. electrical, optical, magnetic, ultrasound or other) that selectively activates or inhibits sub-populations of neural activity.
We welcome Original Full-Length Research, Review articles, Brief Research Report and Mini-Review articles relating to the:
- Development of neural interface technologies in which to deliver fibre-selective stimulation
- Development of unique fibre-selective stimulation and/or inhibitory strategies. This may include the use of computational modelling approach in determining appropriate strategies.
- Development of techniques for fibre-selective stimulation, including optogenetics to activate or inhibit functional fibre populations
- Application of fibre-selective stimulation methodologies in health or a preclinical model of disease
Keywords: Directional stimulation, Peripheral nerve interfaces, Autonomic neuromodulation, Bioelectronic medicine, Electroceutical Therapy
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.