Summary: Research in my group for the INBRE program will be centered around electrical measurement of neural interfaces created by growing cells directly on substrates with patterned electrode arrays and fluidic reservoirs. Specifically, the simultaneous stimulation of the cultured cells via patch-clamp and the elicited response on the electrode array will be studied. This includes measurement of changes in response due to the surrounding environment (extra-cellular matrix). At the current time, the cells are cultured on any number of substrates, and we will have the capability to explore how these materials, sample temperature, electric fields, and/or chemicals added to the solution alter the characteristics of the cells and the electrical response.
Minimum Classes: N/A
Projects: This research will make use of our new electrophysiological probe and measurement system, which provides unique capabilities for testing neural interfaces. INBRE Summer Fellows will become acquainted with patch-clamp as well as semiconductor probe techniques for electrical characterization. They may also have the opportunity to participate in microfabrication of the electrode arrays, in creation of the substrates and cell culture reservoirs, or in the actual process of cell culture. However, the primary outcome will be using the measurement system to study the responses of the cells to various stimuli and environmental conditions, which is likely to include creating liquid solutions containing proteins, neurotransmitters, or other chemicals which are then delivered to the cultured neurons via syringe pump.