Adult-born neurons expressing ChR2 can be manipulated in slice electrophysiological preparations in order to examine their contribution towards the function of olfactory neural circuits.
Laser axotomy followed by time-lapse imaging is a sensitive way to assay the effects of mutations in C. elegans on axon regeneration. A high quality, but inexpensive, laser ablation system can be easily added to most microscopes. Time lapse imaging over 15 hours requires careful immobilization of the worm.
The C. elegans embryo is a powerful system for studying cell biology and development. We present a protocol for live imaging of C. elegans embryos utilizing DIC optics or fluorescence using readily available epifluorescent microscopes and open-source software.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, 2Department of Creative IT Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), 3School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Kyungpook National University
Photoacoustic cystography (PAC) has a great potential to map urinary bladders, a radiation sensitive internal organ in pediatric patients, without using any ionizing radiation or toxic contrast agent. Here we demonstrate the use of PAC for mapping urinary bladders with an injection of optical-opaque tracers in rats in vivo.
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.
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).
Voice disorders are debilitating in aging and Parkinson disease. The ultrasonic vocalizations of rats, also affected by these conditions, can be used to study these voice disorders, their neural substrates, and the nature of functional recovery with behavioral intervention.
This method allows monitoring of cells in real time and quantitative measurements of different cell migration parameters such as speed, displacement, and velocity. Unlike the traditional methods, this real time approach is not based on endpoint quantitative migration measurements; instead it allows monitoring and calculating different parameters continuously.
We describe how to measure near membrane and global intracellular calcium dynamics in cultured astrocytes using total internal reflection and epifluorescence microscopy.
Optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM) is an emerging technology capable of imaging optical absorption contrasts in vivo with cellular resolution and sensitivity. Here, we provide a visualized instruction on the experimental protocols of OR-PAM, including system configuration, system alignment, typical in vivo experimental procedures, and functional imaging schemes.
We illustrate the use of a constant force axial optical tweezers to explore the mechanical properties of short DNA molecules. By stretching DNA axially, we minimize steric hindrances and artifacts arising in conventional lateral manipulation, allowing us to study DNA molecules as short as ~100 nm.
Construction of a High Resolution Microscope with Conventional and Holographic Optical Trapping Capabilities
The system described herein employs a traditional optical trap as well as an independent holographic optical trapping line, capable of creating and manipulating multiple traps. This allows for the creation of complex geometric arrangements of refractive particles while also permitting simultaneous high-speed, high-resolution measurements of the activity of biological enzymes.
Voltage-sensitive Dye Recording from Axons, Dendrites and Dendritic Spines of Individual Neurons in Brain Slices
An imaging technique for monitoring of membrane potential changes with sub-micrometer spatial and sub-millisecond temporal resolution is described. The technique, based on laser excitation of voltage-sensitive dyes, allows measurements of signals in axons and axon collaterals, terminal dendritic branches, and individual dendritic spines.
Measurement of Tension Release During Laser Induced Axon Lesion to Evaluate Axonal Adhesion to the Substrate at Piconewton and Millisecond Resolution
1Institute of Biophysics, National Research Council of Italy, 2Dipartimento di Sistemi e Informatica, Università di Firenze, 3Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
We measured the tension release in an axon that was partially lesioned with a laser dissector by simultaneous force spectroscopy measurement performed on an optically-trapped probe adhered to the membrane of the axon. The developed experimental protocol evaluates the axon adhesion to the culture substrate.
1Department of Chemistry, City College of New York, City University of New York Graduate Center and Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies, 2Department of Chemical Engineering, City College of New York
Aerial plant organs are protected by the cuticle, a supramolecular biopolyester-wax assembly. We present protocols to monitor selective removal of epi- and intracuticular waxes from tomato fruit cuticles on molecular and micro scales by solid-state NMR and atomic force microscopy, respectively, and to assess the cross-linking capacity of engineered cuticular biopolyesters.
A tissue preparation is described for visualization and experimental manipulation of the living microcirculation. In anesthetized male mice, the thin, highly vascularized cremaster muscle is prepared for intravital microscopy to study microvascular networks including arterioles, capillaries and venules. This preparation is readily adapted for rats and hamsters.
The light microscope is a basic tool for the cell biologist, who should have a thorough understanding of how it works, how it should be aligned for different applications, and how it should be maintained as required to obtain maximum image-forming capacity and resolution. The components of the microscope are described in detail here.
A simple, inexpensive, and effective method of preparing Drosophila embryos for live-imaging analysis is presented. Our protocol provides humidity and gas exchange and does not compress the Drosophila embryo. This method is suitable for GFP-based live imaging of Drosophila embryos using a stereomicroscope or upright compound microscope.
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.
This article depicts the recording of individual cells from fluorescently tagged neuronal populations in the intact mouse retina. By using two-photon infrared excitation transgenetically labeled cells were targeted for patch-clamp recording to study their light responses, receptive field properties, and morphology.
We describe the design and assembly of miniaturized headphones suitable for replacing a songbird’s natural auditory feedback with a manipulated acoustic signal. Online sound processing hardware is used to manipulate song output, introduce real-time errors in auditory feedback via the headphones, and drive vocal motor learning.
Understanding the function of the vertebrate central nervous system requires recordings from many neurons because cortical function arises on the level of populations of neurons. Here we describe an optical method to record suprathreshold neural activity with single-cell and single-spike resolution, dithered random-access scanning. This method records somatic fluorescence calcium signals from up to 100 neurons with high temporal resolution. A maximum-likelihood algorithm deconvolves the underlying suprathreshold neural activity from the somatic fluorescence calcium signals. This method reliably detects spikes with high detection efficiency and a low rate of false positives and can be used to study neural populations in vitro and in vivo.
The mesothelial clearance assay described here takes advantage of fluorescently labeled cells and time-lapse video microscopy to visualize and quantitatively measure the interactions of ovarian cancer multicellular spheroids and mesothelial cell monolayers. This assay models the early steps of ovarian cancer metastasis.
A technique for isolating portal fibroblasts from rat liver is described. Livers are perfused and digested in situ with collagenase, followed by ex vivo digestion of the liver slurry and size selection of cells. This method provides a pure population of portal fibroblasts without the need for passage in culture.
We describe a set of assays to analyze expression levels of H1 linker histones. mRNA of individual H1 genes are quantitatively measured by random primer based reverse transcription followed by real-time PCR, whereas protein quantification of H1 histones is achieved by HPLC analysis.
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.
Time-lapse Imaging of Primary Preneoplastic Mammary Epithelial Cells Derived from Genetically Engineered Mouse Models of Breast Cancer
1Department of Oncology, Georgetown University, 2Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, 3Stem Cell Dynamics, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, 4Department of Medicine, Georgetown University, 5Department of Nanobiomedical Science and WCU Research Center of Nanobiomedical Science, Dankook University
Time-lapse imaging is used to assess behavior of primary preneoplastic mammary epithelial cells derived from genetically engineered mouse models of breast cancer risk to determine if there are correlations between specific behavioral parameters and distinct genetic lesions.
Preparation of Parasagittal Slices for the Investigation of Dorsal-ventral Organization of the Rodent Medial Entorhinal Cortex
We describe procedures for preparation and electrophysiological recording from brain slices that maintain the dorsal-ventral axis of the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC). Because neural encoding of location follows a dorsal-ventral organization within the MEC, these procedures facilitate investigation of cellular mechanisms important for navigation and memory.
1Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Yeshiva University, 2Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Yeshiva University, 3Hubrecht Institute-KNAW and University Medical Center Utrecht
Intravital photoswitching and tracking of Dendra2-labeled tumor cells through the Mammary Imaging Window is a technique which allows us to image the metastatic behavior of tumor cells in chosen tumor microenvironments over a timescale of days.
Microscopic imaging of live endothelial cells expressing GFP-actin allows characterization of dynamic changes in cytoskeletal structures. Unlike techniques that use fixed specimens, this method provides a detailed assessment of temporal changes in the actin cytoskeleton in the same cells before, during, and after various physical, pharmacological, or inflammatory stimuli.
Here we describe an assay that employs the power of microinjection coupled with fluorescent in situ hybridization in order to accurately measure the nuclear export kinetics of mRNA in mammalian somatic cells.
We illustrate here how to use electron cryotomography (ECT) to study the ultrastructure of bacterial cells in near-native states, to "macromolecular" (~4 nm) resolution.
Continuously-stirred Anaerobic Digester to Convert Organic Wastes into Biogas: System Setup and Basic Operation
Laboratory-scale anaerobic digesters allow scientists to research new ways of optimizing existing applications of anaerobic biotechnology and to evaluate the methane producing potential of various organic wastes. This article introduces a generalized model for the construction, inoculation, operation, and monitoring of a laboratory-scale continuously stirred anaerobic digester.