We described structural features of the Glia-neuromuscular synapses in a novel Inside-out tissue preparation of live fly larvae using fluorescent dyes with confocal microscopy. We labeled live neuron terminals with fluorescent primary antibodies to HRP, and also visualized the perisynaptic space with fluorescent Dextrans.
Keeping the microscope optics clean is important for high-quality imaging. Dust, fingerprints, excess immersion oil, or mounting medium on or in a microscope causes reduction in contrast and resolution. DIC is especially sensitive to contamination and scratches on the lens surfaces. This protocol details the procedure for keeping the microscope clean.
1Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis, University of Nottingham, 2School of Molecular Medical Sciences, University of Nottingham, 3David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A description of the formation of a polymer microarray using an on-chip photopolymerization technique. The high throughput surface characterization using atomic force microscopy, water contact angle measurements, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry and a cell attachment assay is also described.
In this protocol, gene expression in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is changed after exposure to oxidative stress induced by the addition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), an oxidizing agent.
Nanotopology of Cell Adhesion upon Variable-Angle Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (VA-TIRFM)
Topology of cell adhesion on a substrate is measured with nanometre precision by variable-angle total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (VA-TIRFM).
1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 3Center for Biophotonics, University of California, Davis
In this work we explain the fabrication and use of a microfluidic mixer capable of mixing two solutions in ~8 μs. We also demonstrate the use of these mixers with spectroscopic detection using UV fluorescence and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET).
In situ patch clamp recordings are used for electrophysiological characterization of neurons in intact circuitry. In the Drosophila genetic model patch clamping is difficult because the CNS is small and surrounded by a robust sheath. This article describes the procedure to remove the sheath and clean neurons for subsequent patch clamp recordings.
Achieving high quality and appropriate quantity of human islets is one of the prominent prerequisites for successful islet transplantation. In this video, we describe step by step the procedures for human pancreatic islet isolation (part I: digestion and collection of pancreatic tissue) using a modified automated method.
A description of the methods used to convert an HP DeskJet 500 printer into a bioprinter. The printer is capable of processing living cells, which causes transient pores in the membrane. These pores can be utilized to incorporate small molecules, including fluorescent G-actin, into the printed cells.
Revealing Dynamic Processes of Materials in Liquids Using Liquid Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy
We have developed a self-contained liquid cell, which allows imaging through liquids using a transmission electron microscope. Dynamic processes of nanoparticles in liquids can be revealed in real time with sub-nanometer resolution.
The complete construction of a custom, real-time confocal scanning imaging system is described. This system, which can be readily used for video-rate microscopy and microendoscopy, allows for an array of imaging geometries and applications not accessible using standard commercial confocal systems, at a fraction of the cost.
Synthesis of Nine-atom Deltahedral Zintl Ions of Germanium and their Functionalization with Organic Groups
We present the high-temperature synthesis of intermetallic precursors K4Ge9, their dissolution in ethylenediamine to form Ge94- deltahedral Zintl ions, and the reaction of the clusters with alkynes to form organo-Zintl ions. The latter are characterized by electrospray mass spectrometry in solutions and by single-crystal X-ray diffraction in the solid state.
Determination of Molecular Structures of HIV Envelope Glycoproteins using Cryo-Electron Tomography and Automated Sub-tomogram Averaging
1Laboratory of Cell Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2The Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit, University of Cambridge, 3National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 4Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 5William Fremd High School, 6University of Virginia, 7Duke University, 8Yale University, 9University of Notre Dame, 10Washington University in St. Louis, 11Bioinformatics and Computational Biosciences Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 12Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
The protocol describes a high-throughput approach to determining structures of membrane proteins using cryo-electron tomography and 3D image processing. It covers the details of specimen preparation, data collection, data processing and interpretation, and concludes with the production of a representative target for the approach, the HIV-1 Envelope glycoprotein. These computational procedures are designed in a way that enables researchers and students to work remotely and contribute to data processing and structural analysis.
1Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science, and Nutrition , The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio University
Ice binding proteins (IBPs), also known as antifreeze proteins, inhibit ice growth and are a promising additive for use in the cryopreservation of tissues. The main tool used to investigate IBPs is the nanoliter osmometer. We developed a home-designed cooling stage mounted on an optical microscope and controlled using a custom-built LabVIEW routine. The nanoliter osmometer described here manipulated the sample temperature in an ultra-sensitive manner.
The turnover rate of viruses in marine and freshwater systems can be estimated by a reduction and reoccurrence technique. The data allow researchers to infer rates of virus-mediated microbial mortality in aquatic systems.
In many biological and clinical situations it is advantageous to study cellular processes as they evolve in their native microenvironment. Here we describe the assembly and use of a low-cost fiber-optic microscope which can provide real time imaging in cell culture, animal studies, and clinical patient studies.
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
In this article we describe how we obtain FRET traces from individual DNA molecules immobilized to a surface using an automated scanning confocal microscope.
1Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine (UCI), 2Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Irvine (UCI)
Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes are vectors for malaria inhabiting India and throughout Asia. This video demonstrates the technique for performing microinjections of this species with transgenes that will confer resistance to the malaria to the mosquito. Much of the methodology demonstrated in this video is applicable to microinjection techniques of other mosquito species.
This protocol describes a general approach to perform photoconversion of fluorescent proteins on a confocal laser scanning microscope. We describe procedures for the photoconversion of puried protein samples, as well as for dual-probe optical highlighting in live cells with mOrange2 and Dronpa.
Selection, microinjection, and imaging of fluorescently-labeled F-actin via fluorescent speckle microscopy (FSM).
The in situ hybridization protocol described here allows a direct localization of mRNA and small RNA expression at the cellular level with high sensitivity and specificity. The procedure is optimized for paraffin-embedded plant tissue sections, is applicable to a wide range of plants and tissues, and can be completed within ten days.
Targeted Labeling of Neurons in a Specific Functional Micro-domain of the Neocortex by Combining Intrinsic Signal and Two-photon Imaging
A method is described for labeling neurons with fluorescent dyes in predetermined functional micro-domains of the neocortex. First, intrinsic signal optical imaging is used to obtain a functional map. Then two-photon microscopy is used to label and image neurons within a micro-domain of the map.
A Convenient and General Expression Platform for the Production of Secreted Proteins from Human Cells
In the post-human genomics era, the availability of recombinant proteins in native conformations is crucial to structural, functional and therapeutic research and development. Here, we describe a test- and large-scale protein expression system in human embryonic kidney 293T cells that can be used to produce a variety of recombinant proteins.
Exploring Arterial Smooth Muscle Kv7 Potassium Channel Function using Patch Clamp Electrophysiology and Pressure Myography
Measurements of Kv7 (KCNQ) potassium channel activity in isolated arterial myocytes (using patch clamp electrophysiological techniques) in parallel with measurements of constrictor/dilator responses (using pressure myography) can reveal important information about the roles of Kv7 channels in vascular smooth muscle physiology and pharmacology.
Use of photonic crystal slow light waveguides and cavities has been widely adopted by the photonics community in many differing applications. Therefore fabrication and characterization of these devices are of great interest. This paper outlines our fabrication technique and two optical characterization methods, namely: interferometric (waveguides) and resonant scattering (cavities).
This is a protocol describing how to isolate and culture primary sympathetic neurons from superior cervical ganglia (SCG) of newborn rat pups.
We present an in vitro, two-color fluorescence assay to visualize the fusion of single virus particles with a fluid target bilayer. By labeling viral particles with fluorophores that differentially stain the viral membrane and its interior, we are able to monitor the kinetics of hemifusion and pore formation.
Single-molecule Imaging of Gene Regulation In vivo Using Cotranslational Activation by Cleavage (CoTrAC)
1Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 3Department of Physics, Jilin University
We describe a fluorescence microscopy method, Co-Translational Activation by Cleavage (CoTrAC), to image the production of protein molecules in live cells with single-molecule precision without perturbing the protein's functionality. This method has been used to follow the stochastic expression dynamics of a transcription factor, the λ repressor CI 1.
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.
We demonstrate a dark-field microscopy method based on Gabor-like filtering to measure subcellular dynamics within single living cells. The technique is sensitive to alterations in the structure of organelles, such as mitochondrial fragmentation.
Construction and Implantation of a Microinfusion System for Sustained Delivery of Neuroactive Agents.
As neuroscience inquiry becomes more sophisticated, investigation of brain structures and circuitry requires improved levels of accuracy and higher resolution. We have developed a method for the preparation and implantation of a chronic infusion system within the brain utilizing a borosilicate microcannula with a tip diameter of 50 microns.
This is a protocol to prepare and maintain a neocortical slice preparation in organotypic culture for the purpose of making electrical recordings from pyramidal neurons.
Evaluation of Cancer Stem Cell Migration Using Compartmentalizing Microfluidic Devices and Live Cell Imaging
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Materials Science Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 4Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A compartmentalizing microfluidic device for investigating cancer stem cell migration is described. This novel platform creates a viable cellular microenvironment and enables microscopic visualization of live cell locomotion. Highly motile cancer cells are isolated to study molecular mechanisms of aggressive infiltration, potentially leading to more effective future therapies.
This article details the construction of a multiplexed microneedle-based sensor. The device is being developed for in situ sampling and electrochemical analysis of multiple analytes in a rapid and selective manner. We envision clinical medicine and biomedical research uses for these microneedle-based sensors.
Here we describe a Schwann cell (SC) migration assay in which SCs are able to develop along extending axons.
Karyotyping is a simple and useful technique widely used for detecting genetic alterations. Here we describe a step by step protocol for chromosome spread preparation of human embryonic stem cells for monitoring the chromosomal status of these cells maintained in culture.
Antibody staining of the Drosophila pupae can enhance genetic analyses of adult abdominal developmental genetics. We present our protocol for dissection, fixation and antibody staining of staged Drosophila pupal abdomen.
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.
A protocols for an embryonic rat brain aggregate culture system is described. Multipotent progenitors in the aggregates can develop and differentiate into neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.
A novel approach that allows the high-resolution analysis of cancer cell interactions with exogenous hyaluronic acid (HA) is described. Patterned surfaces are fabricated by combining carbodiimide chemistry and microcontact printing.
We describe the use of a carbon dioxide laser reflow technique to fabricate silica resonant cavities, including free-standing microspheres and on-chip microtoroids. The reflow method removes surface imperfections, allowing long photon lifetimes within both devices. The resulting devices have ultra high quality factors, enabling applications ranging from telecommunications to biodetection.
We describe protocols for our mouse graft arteriosclerois (GA) models which involve interposition of a mouse vessel segment into a recipient of the same inbred strain. By backcrossing additional genetic changes into the vessel donor, the model can assess the effect of specific genes on GA.
A method to visualize and quantify F-actin barbed ends in neuronal growth cones is described. After culturing neurons on glass coverslips, cells are permeabilized with a saponin-containing solution. Then, a short incubation with the saponin buffer containing rhodamine-actin incorporates fluorescent actin onto free actin barbed ends.
Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) Assay for Protein-Protein Interaction in Onion Cells Using the Helios Gene Gun
This article illustrates how to properly use the BioRad Helios Gene Gun to introduce plasmid DNA into onion epidermal cells and how to test for protein-protein interactions in onion cells based on the principle of Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC)
Here we demonstrate our protocol for isolation of basal and submucosal gland duct cells from mouse tracheas. We also demonstrate the method of injecting stem cells into the dorsal mouse fat pad to create an in vivo model of submucosal gland regeneration.
An ex vivo preparation is described for isolation of the largest gracilis muscle resistance arterioles for interrogation of both vascular responses to vasoactive stimuli and the assessment of basic structural properties via passive wall mechanics.
Supported planar bilayers are powerful tools that can be used to model the molecular interactions in an immunological synapse. Here, we show methods for anchoring cell adhesion proteins known to modulate synapse formation to the upper leaflet of the lipid bilyer and visualize synapse formation using TIRF microscopy.
This protocol illustrates a harvesting technique for coccygeal bovine intervertebral discs for organ culture for in vitro organ culture.
The following protocol outlines the process of pancreatic dissection for virtual slice imaging, and the subsequent quantification of all GFP-tagged beta-cells in the entire pancreas.