The classic dynamic clamp technique uses a real-time electrical interface between living cells and neural simulations in order to investigate hypotheses about neural function and structure. One of the acknowledged drawbacks of that technique is the limited control of the cells’ chemical microenvironment. In this manuscript, we use a novel combination of nanosensor and microfluidic technology and microfluidic and neural simulations to add sensing and control of chemical concentrations to the dynamic clamp technique. Specifically, we use a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip to generate distinct chemical concentration gradients (ions or neuromodulators), to register the concentrations with embedded nanosensors and use the processed signals as an input to simulations of a neural cell. The ultimate goal of this project is to close the loop and provide sensor signals to the microfluidic lab-on-a-chip to mimic the interaction of the simulated cell with other cells in its chemical environment.
Rivera, C.M.; Kwon, H.-J.; Hashmi, A.; Yu, G.; Zhao, J.; Gao, J.; Xu, J.; Xue, W.; & Dimitrov, A.G. (2015). Towards a Dynamic Clamp for Neurochemical Modalities. Sensors 2015, 15, 10465-10480.
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