Here are some highlights from the May 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
In insects, the oenocytes produce cuticular hydrocarbon compounds. These compounds protect against desiccation and facilitate chemical communication. Here we demonstrate a dissection technique used to isolate the oenocytes from adult Drosophila melanogaster, and illustrate how this preparation can be utilized to study genes involved in hydrocarbon synthesis.
Multi-unit Recording Methods to Characterize Neural Activity in the Locust (Schistocerca Americana) Olfactory Circuits
We demonstrate variations of the extracellular multi-unit recording technique to characterize odor-evoked responses in the first three stages of the invertebrate olfactory pathway. These techniques can easily be adapted to examine ensemble activity in other neural systems as well.
1Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology, College of Dentistry, New York University, 2Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, 3Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 4School of Dental Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, University of Pennsylvania-School of Medicine, 5 , Monell Chemical Senses Center, 6Monell Chemical Senses Center
Knowledge of molecular mechanisms underlying gustatory transduction has recently enjoyed significant advances, largely due to using animal models. However, the wide diversity in taste sensitivity and specificity among mammals warrants studies in human tissue. We describe a biopsy technique to collect living taste cells from the papillae on human tongue.
Imaging G-protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR)-mediated Signaling Events that Control Chemotaxis of Dictyostelium Discoideum
Here, we describe detailed live cell imaging methods for investigating chemotaxis. We present fluorescence microscopic methods to monitor spatiotemporal dynamics of signaling events in migrating cells. Measurement of signaling events permits us to further understand how a GPCR-signaling network achieves gradient sensing of chemoattractants and controls directional migration of eukaryotic cells.
We aimed to develop a reproducible protocol for isolating and maintaining long-term cultures of human fungiform taste papillae cells. Cells from human fungiform papillae obtained by biopsy were successfully maintained in culture for more than eight passages (12 months) without loss of viability.
Odorant-induced Responses Recorded from Olfactory Receptor Neurons using the Suction Pipette Technique
Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) convert odor signals first into a receptor current that in turn triggers action potentials that are conveyed to second order neurons in the olfactory bulb. Here we describe the suction pipette technique to record simultaneously the odorant-induced receptor current and action potentials from mouse ORNs.
In mice, the ability to detect pheromones is principally mediated by the vomeronasal organ (VNO). Here, an acute tissue slice preparation of VNO for performing calcium imaging is described. This physiological approach allows observations of subpopulations and/or individual neurons in a living tissue and is convenient for receptor-ligand identification.
Fluorescent-core microcavity sensors employ a high-index quantum-dot coating in the channel of silica microcapillaries. Changes in the refractive index of fluids pumped into the capillary channel cause shifts in the microcavity fluorescence spectrum that can be used to analyze the channel medium.
Identification of Olfactory Volatiles using Gas Chromatography-Multi-unit Recordings (GCMR) in the Insect Antennal Lobe
Olfactory cues mediate many different behaviors in insects, and are often complex mixtures comprised of tens to hundreds of volatile compounds. Using gas chromatography with multi-channel recording in the insect antennal lobe, we describe a method for the identification of bioactive compounds.
Here are some highlights from the February 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Fabrication of Electrochemical-DNA Biosensors for the Reagentless Detection of Nucleic Acids, Proteins and Small Molecules
1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University Of California Santa Barbara, 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Program in BioMolecular Science and Engineering, University Of California Santa Barbara
"E-DNA" sensors, reagentless, electrochemical biosensors that perform well even when challenged directly in blood and other complex matrices, have been adapted to the detection of a wide range of nucleic acid, protein and small molecule analytes. Here we present a general procedure for the fabrication and use of such sensors.
We demonstrate FRET between conjugated polymer polydiacetylene (PDA) and fluorophore attached to the surface of PDA liposomes for the sensing of biomolecules. PDA liposomes also contained receptor molecules on their surfaces for biomolecules to be used as probes. Ligand-receptor interactions lead to changes in the FRET efficiency between the fluorophore and PDA which is the basis of the sensing mechanism.
Multi-analyte Biochip (MAB) Based on All-solid-state Ion-selective Electrodes (ASSISE) for Physiological Research
1Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Birck-Bindley Physiological Sensing Facility, Purdue University, 2NASA Ames Research Center, 3Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University Hazleton, 4Cooley LLP, 5NASA Life and Physical Sciences, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
All-solid-state ion-selective electrodes (ASSISEs) constructed from a conductive polymer (CP) transducer provide several months of functional lifetime in liquid media. Here, we describe the fabrication and calibration process of ASSISEs in a lab-on-a-chip format. The ASSISE is demonstrated to have maintained a near-Nernstian slope profile after prolonged storage in complex biological media.
A New Single Chamber Implantable Defibrillator with Atrial Sensing: A Practical Demonstration of Sensing and Ease of Implantation
Dual-chamber implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) may improve detection of atrial fibrillation as well as differentiation of tachycardias. However, this advantage is undermined by complications associated with the second electrode, which is required in conventional dual chamber devices. Therefore, BIOTRONIK has developed a new electrode called the LinoxSMART S DX that, when used in conjunction with the Lumax DX ICD, offers dual-chamber detection without the risks associated with the second electrode.
Here we describe a whole-mount fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) protocol for determining the expression and localization properties of RNAs expressed during embryogenesis in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.
Using Reverse Genetics to Manipulate the NSs Gene of the Rift Valley Fever Virus MP-12 Strain to Improve Vaccine Safety and Efficacy
The reverse genetics system for the Rift Valley fever virus MP-12 vaccine strain is a useful tool for creating additional MP-12 mutants with increased attenuation and immunogenicity. We describe the protocol to generate and characterize NSs mutant strains.
The Scepter Cell Counter is a handheld automated device that can be used to count cells, monitor cell diameter and volume, and be used to check the health and quality of cellular populations from one culture to the next.
A Real-time Electrical Impedance Based Technique to Measure Invasion of Endothelial Cell Monolayer by Cancer Cells
This article describes an in vitro technique for monitoring cancer cells invading through a monolayer of endothelial cells. The data is acquired in real-time as a function of changes in impedance on the surface of electrodes at the well bottom.
The procedure for implementing a refractive index sensor for terahertz frequencies based on a grooved parallel-plate waveguide geometry is described here. The method yields a measurement of the refractive index of a small volume of liquid through monitoring of the shift in the resonant frequency of the waveguide structure
1Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, 2Clinical Research Laboratory, 81st Medical Group, Keesler Air Force Base
Lytic phage biosensors and antibody beads are able to discriminate between methicillin resistant (MRSA) and sensitive staphylococcus bacteria. The phages were immobilized by a Langmuir-Blodgett method onto a surface of a quartz crystal microbalance sensor and worked as broad range staphylococcus probes. Antibody beads recognize MRSA.
Normothermic Cardiac Arrest and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: A Mouse Model of Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury
A powerful model for perioperative and critical care related acute kidney injury is presented. Using whole body hypoperfusion induced by cardiac arrest it is possible to nearly replicate the histologic and functional changes of clinical AKI.
Here we describe methods to test C. elegans associative learning and short- and long-term associative memory. These population assays employ the worms abilities to chemotax toward volatile odorants, and form positive associations upon pairing food with the chemoattractant butanone. Increasing the number of conditioning periods induces long-term memory.
1UMR CNRS 5557 Ecologie Microbienne, Université Lyon 1, Université de Lyon, 2Département Biosciences, INSA de Lyon, Université de Lyon, 3INSERM U758, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université de Lyon, 4Laboratoire de Génie Civil et Ingénierie Environnementale, INSA de Lyon, Université de Lyon
The design of a synthetic operon encoding both the secretory apparatus and the structural monomers of curli fibers is described. Overproduction of these amyloids and adherent polymers allows a measurable gain of adherence of the E. coli chassis1. Easy ways to visualize and quantify adherence are explained.
Cell-based Calcium Assay for Medium to High Throughput Screening of TRP Channel Functions using FlexStation 3
This video provides a detailed protocol for studying the pharmacological profile of human TRPA1 channels using FlexStation 3. The protocol covers details of cell preparation, dye loading and operation of the microplate reader, FlexStation 3.
1Organic Chemistry Institute and CeNTech, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, 2Laboratory of Macromolecular and Organic Chemistry, Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, Eindhoven University of Technology, 3Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry and Soft Matter Research Unit, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology
The goal of this experiment is to determine and control the size, shape and stability of self-assembled discotic amphiphiles in water. For aqueous based supramolecular polymers such level of control is very difficult. We apply a strategy using both repulsive and attractive interactions. The experimental techniques applied to characterize this system are broadly applicable.
Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Institute of Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania-School of Medicine
We have derived a strategy to detect sequential incorporation of thymidine analogues (CldU and IdU) into tissues of adult mice to quantify two successive rounds of cell division. This strategy is useful to detect cell turnover of long-lived tissues, oncogenic transformation, or transit-amplifying cells.
Here we describe a simple method for patterning oxide-free silicon and germanium with reactive organic monolayers and demonstrate functionalization of the patterned substrates with small molecules and proteins. The approach completely protects surfaces from chemical oxidation, provides precise control over feature morphology, and provides ready access to chemically discriminated patterns.
1Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, 2Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, University of California, Davis, 3Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis
A rapid method for volatile compound analysis in fruit is described. The volatile compounds present in the headspace of a homogenate of the sample are rapidly separated and detected with ultra-fast gas chromatography (GC) coupled with a surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor. A procedure for data handling and analysis is also discussed.
A method of quantitatively evaluating the chemotactic response of Caenorhabditis elegans is described. A chemotactic index (CI) was employed as a way to precisely evaluate the response of worms to certain targets, and serve as a platform of comparison between strains and compounds of interest.
Here are some highlights from the December 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Gramicidin-based Fluorescence Assay; for Determining Small Molecules Potential for Modifying Lipid Bilayer Properties
We introduce a fast fluorescence-based assay that monitors the rate of fluorescence quenching as a measure of gramicidin channel activity. The gramicidin channels are used as molecular force transducers to monitor changes in lipid bilayer properties as sensed by bilayer spanning proteins.
Here we describe a light-dark preference test for Drosophila larva. This assay provides information about innate and circadian regulation of light sensing and processing photobehavior.
This protocol is successfully used to quantitatively detect levels and spatial patterns of mRNA expression in multiple tissue types across vertebrate species. The method can detect low abundance transcripts and allows processing of hundreds of slides simultaneously. We present this protocol using expression profiling of avian embryonic brain formation as an example.
Medaka and zebrafish are complementary for genetic dissection of vertebrate genome functions. This protocol highlights the key points for successful microinjection into medaka embryos, an important technique for embryological and genetic analysis using medaka and zebrafish in a laboratory.
1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 2Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 3Shared Resource-DNA/RNA Peptide, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
Several 2’-Fluoro RNA aptamers against HIV-1Ba-L gp120 with nanomole affinity are isolated from a RNA library by in vitro SELEX procedure. A new dual inhibitory function anti-gp120 aptamer-siRNA chimera is created and shows considerable promise for systemic anti-HIV therapy.
1Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 2Centro de Investigaciones en Optica A. C., 3Department of Biology and Neurosciences Institute, The University of Texas at San Antonio
We synthesized star shaped gold nanostars using a silver seed mediated growth method. The diameter of the nanostars ranges from 200 to 300 nm and the number of tips vary from 7 to 10. The nanoparticles have a broad surface plasmon resonance mode centered in the near infrared.
A molecular beam coupled to tunable vacuum ultraviolet photoionization mass spectrometer at a synchrotron provides a convenient tool to explore the electronic structure of isolated gas phase molecules and clusters. Proton transfer mechanisms in DNA base dimers were elucidated with this technique.
Concurrent Quantitative Conductivity and Mechanical Properties Measurements of Organic Photovoltaic Materials using AFM
Organic photovoltaic (OPV) materials are inherently inhomogeneous at the nanometer scale. Nanoscale inhomogeneity of OPV materials affects performance of photovoltaic devices. In this paper, we describe a protocol for quantitative measurements of electrical and mechanical properties of OPV materials with sub-100 nm resolution.
Solution-suspendable gold nanotubes with controlled dimensions can be synthesized by electrochemical deposition in porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes using a hydrophobic polymer core. Gold nanotubes and nanotube arrays hold promise for applications in plasmonic biosensing, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, photo-thermal heating, ionic and molecular transport, microfluidics, catalysis and electrochemical sensing.
A murine model for ventilator induced lung injury is an important tool to study an acute lung injury in vivo. Here, we report an easy applicable in situ model for acute lung injury using high-pressure mechanical ventilation to induce acute failure of the lung.
Preparation, Purification, and Characterization of Lanthanide Complexes for Use as Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging
We demonstrate the metalation, purification, and characterization of lanthanide complexes. The complexes described here can be conjugated to macromolecules to enable tracking of these molecules using magnetic resonance imaging.
1Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, 2Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, University of Maryland, 3Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland
This article describes a biofabrication approach: deposition of stimuli-responsive polysaccharides in the presence of biased electrodes to create biocompatible films which can be functionalized with cells or proteins. We demonstrate a bench-top strategy for the generation of the films as well as their basic uses for creating interactive biofunctionalized surfaces for lab-on-a-chip applications.
1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 3Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 4Research Medicine, Veterans Affairs TVHS, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Zebrafish has emerged as a powerful in vivo platform for phenotype-based drug screens and chemical genetic analysis. Here, we demonstrate a simple, practical method for large-scale screening of small molecules using zebrafish embryos.
We demonstrate protocols for manufacturing and automating elastomeric polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based microvalve arrays that need no extra energy to close and feature photolithographically defined precise volumes. A parallel subnanoliter-volume mixer and an integrated microfluidic perfusion system are presented.
Multielectrode array (MEA) recordings provide a method for studying the electrical activity of large populations of neurons. Here, we present the details of a MEA preparation to record from the mouse vomeronasal epithelium while simultaneously stimulating the tissue.
An injury paradigm using the Drosophila larval ventral nerve cord to investigate central nervous system regeneration and repair is described. Stabbing followed by laser scanning confocal microscopy in time-lapse and fixed specimens, combined with quantitative analysis with purposefully developed software and genetics, are used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of CNS regeneration and repair.
Application of electrophysiology to accessible synapses provides a quantifiable measure of synaptic activity, useful in analyzing synaptic mutants. This article describes a dissection method used to expose the neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and briefly discusses some of the uses to which this preparation can be applied.
1Laboratory of Experimental Urology, Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven, Belgium, 2Laboratory for Ion Channel Research, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, KU Leuven, Belgium, 3TRP Research Platform Leuven (TRPLe), KU Leuven, Belgium
Cystometry is an efficient technique to measure bladder function of small animals in vivo. The bladder is continuously infused at rates controlled through an intravesical catheter, whereas the urethra is left free for micturition. This allows for repetitive filling and emptying of the bladder, while intravesical pressure and voided volume are recorded.
A protocol to detect trichothecenes (mycotoxins of concern for human health) using a newly developed screening method based on a competitive immunochemical method and a final electrochemical detection is demonstrated.