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.
Ultrahigh Density Array of Vertically Aligned Small-molecular Organic Nanowires on Arbitrary Substrates
We report a simple method for fabricating an ultrahigh density array of vertically ordered small-molecular organic nanowires. This method allows for synthesis of complex heterostructured hybrid nanowire geometries, which can be inexpensively grown on arbitrary substrates. These structures have potential applications in organic electronics, optoelectronics, chemical sensing, photovoltaics and spintronics.
1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Center for Micro- and Nanotechnology, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 3Presently at the Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Band-gap Semiconductors, University Of California Santa Barbara
Planar and three-dimensional printing of conductive metallic inks is described. Our approach provides new avenues for fabricating printed electronic, optoelectronic, and biomedical devices in unusual layouts at the microscale.
We describe an established technique to measure and analyze odor-evoked calcium responses in the antennal lobe of living Drosophila melanogaster.
1Department of Orthopaedics, The Warren Alpert Brown Medical School of Brown University and the Rhode Island Hospital, 2Center for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine, VA Medical Center, Providence, RI, 3University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
We designed a novel mechanical loading bioreactor that can apply uniaxial or biaxial mechanical strain to a cartilage biocomposite prior to transplantation into an articular cartilage defect.
1Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of New Jersey, 2Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology, Collège de France, 3Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howards Hughes Medical Institute, 4Deptartment of Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
We describe methods for large-scale recording of multiple single units and local field potential in behaving rodents with silicon probes. Drive fabrication, probe attachment to the drive and probe implantation processes are illustrated in sufficient details for easy replication.
Modeling Neural Immune Signaling of Episodic and Chronic Migraine Using Spreading Depression In Vitro
Migraine and its transformation to chronic migraine are immense healthcare burdens in need of improved treatment options. We seek to define how neural immune signaling modulates the susceptibility to migraine, modeled in vitro using spreading depression in hippocampal slice cultures, as a means to develop novel therapeutic targets.
We describe a method to record motor activity, timed to the electrically recorded tarsal contact signal in a tethered insect, walking on a slippery surface. This is used to study the neural basis of adaptive behavior under reduced influence of mechanical interaction between legs through the substrate.
Utilization of Plasmonic and Photonic Crystal Nanostructures for Enhanced Micro- and Nanoparticle Manipulation
1Electrical Engineering Department, University of Washington, 2Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 3Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington, 4Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 5Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Plasmonic tweezers and photonic crystal nanostructures are shown to produce useful enhancements in the efficiency and orientation control of optically trapping micro- and nano-particles.
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.
1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 3Center for Advanced Genomics Technology, Boston University, 4Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, Boston University School of Medicine, 5Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 6CNR (National Research Council), Istituto di Chimica del Riconoscimento Molecolare
Quantitative, high-throughput, real-time, and label-free biomolecular detection (DNA, protein, etc.) on SiO2 surfaces can be achieved using a simple interferometric technique which relies on LED illumination, minimal optical components, and a camera. The Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS) is inexpensive, simple to use, and amenable to microarray formats.
The fabrication of electrically addressable, high-aspect-ratio (> 1000:1) metal nanowires separated by gaps of single nanometers using either sacrificial layers of aluminum and silver or self-assembled monolayers as templates is described. These nanogap structures are fabricated without a clean room or any photo- or electron-beam lithographic processes by a form of edge lithography known as nanoskiving.
Microfluidic Co-culture of Epithelial Cells and Bacteria for Investigating Soluble Signal-mediated Interactions
This protocol describes a microfluidic co-culture model for simultaneous and localized culture of epithelial cells and bacteria. This model can be used for investigating the role of different soluble molecular signals on pathogenesis as well as screen the effectiveness of putative probiotic bacterial strains.
Design and Construction of a Cost Effective Headstage for Simultaneous Neural Stimulation and Recording in the Water Maze
We present a low-cost method to design and construct a light headstage pre-amplifier system with simultaneous neural recording and stimulation capability. This device can be waterproofed for use in swimming animals.
We describe a simple and low cost technique for introducing high concentration of fluorescent and calcium-sensitive dyes into neurons or any neuronal tract using a polyethylene suction pipette.
A micropunching lithography approach is developed to generate micro- and submicron-patterns on top, sidewall and bottom surfaces of polymer substrates. It overcomes the obstacles of patterning conducting polymers and generating sidewall patterns. This method allows rapid fabrication of multiple features and is free of aggressive chemistry.
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.
We describe experimental details of the synthesis of patterned and reconfigurable particles from two dimensional (2D) precursors. This methodology can be used to create particles in a variety of shapes including polyhedra and grasping devices at length scales ranging from the micro to centimeter scale.
To understand network dynamics of microcircuits in the neocortex, it is essential to simultaneously record the activity of a large number of neurons . In-vivo two-photon calcium imaging is the only method that allows one to record the activity of a dense neuronal population with single-cell resolution .
Cortical blood flow dynamics can be studied in vivo by imaging fluorescent dextran dyes injected into the tail vein of rodents with 2-photon microscopy. This video shows how to image blood flow dynamics in neocortex of mice through a glass-covered cranial window preparation.
Right-angle microprisms inserted into the mouse neocortex allows for deep imaging of multiple cortical layers with a viewpoint typically found in slice. One-millimeter microprisms offer a wide field-of-view (~900 μm) and spatial resolutions sufficient to resolve dendritic spines. We demonstrate layer V neuronal imaging and neocortical vascular imaging using microprisms.
Intraluminal Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion (MCAO) Model for Ischemic Stroke with Laser Doppler Flowmetry Guidance in Mice
The intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model is the most frequent used model among experimental ischemic stroke models. Here we will demonstrate the entire model in detail with the guide of Laser Doppler flowmetry, and its representative results.
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 & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 2Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 3Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children's Hospital
The development of optogenetics now provides the means to precisely stimulate genetically defined neurons and circuits, both in vitro and in vivo. Here we describe the assembly and implantation of a fiber optic for chronic photostimulation of brain tissue.
Assessment of Immunologically Relevant Dynamic Tertiary Structural Features of the HIV-1 V3 Loop Crown R2 Sequence by ab initio Folding
The crown region of different V3 loop sequences of the surface envelope glycoprotein (gp120) of HIV-1 can be structurally characterized in many cases by in silico folding of positions 10 to 22 of the loop using a state-of-the-art ab initio folding algorithm. Here we demonstrate the folding and evaluation of this region of the V3 loop from the R2 strain of HIV-1, a uniquely neutralization sensitive strain with puzzling functional properties.
Modeling Biological Membranes with Circuit Boards and Measuring Electrical Signals in Axons: Student Laboratory Exercises
This is a demonstration of how biological membranes can be understood using electrical models. We also demonstrate procedures for recording action potentials from the ventral nerve cord of the crayfish for student orientated laboratories.
Tracking Neutrophil Intraluminal Crawling, Transendothelial Migration and Chemotaxis in Tissue by Intravital Video Microscopy
We describe a protocol of brightfield intravital microscopy for measuring dynamic neutrophil-endothelial cell interactions during neutrophil recruitment in response to the source of a neutrophil chemoattractant in vivo. Neutrophil intraluminal crawling, transendothelial migration and chemotaxis in mouse cremaster muscle tissue are visualized with time-lapsed video photography and tracked with ImageJ.
Here we present a histological method for capturing, labeling, optically clearing, and imaging the intact brain tissue interface around chronically implanted microdevices in rodent brain tissue. Results from the techniques comprising this method are useful for understanding the impact of various penetrating brain-implants on their surrounding tissue.
Due to the transient nature of pre-mRNA, it can be difficult to isolate and study in vivo. Here, we present a novel in vitro approach to investigate RNA-protein interactions using a synthetic oligo pool that tiles across selected regions of pre-mRNA.
Developing Custom Chinese Hamster Ovary-host Cell Protein Assays using Acoustic Membrane Microparticle Technology
Development of custom assays on the ViBE platform for more sensitive, reproducible, automated results in complex matrices is described. The universal cartridge allows assays to be easily adapted for use with custom assays. This versatility enables rapid development and validation of novel assays or automated versions of existing manual assays, exemplified in this video.
A Chitosan Based, Laser Activated Thin Film Surgical Adhesive, 'SurgiLux': Preparation and Demonstration
The fabrication of a novel, flexible thin film surgical adhesive from FDA approved ingredients, chitosan and indocyanine green is described. Bonding of this adhesive to collagenous tissue through a simple activation process with a low-powered infra-red laser is demonstrated.
1Department of Neurology and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University, 2Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 3Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Neurology and the Gene Therapy Center , University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
We describe a minimally-invasive and painless method to measure canine hindlimb muscle strength and muscle response to repeated eccentric contractions.
This video demonstrates the surgical preparation and procedures needed to study the contractile responses of the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle preparation in situ. This preparation allows measurement of skeletal muscle contractile properties under physiological conditions. The animal is anesthetized and the muscle is separated from surrounding tissue at its distal end. The Achilles tendon is attached to a force transducer, allowing measurement of the muscle’s contractile response at 37 degrees C with an intact circulation.
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.
Nanomoulding of Functional Materials, a Versatile Complementary Pattern Replication Method to Nanoimprinting
1Institute of Microengineering (IMT), Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 2Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley
We describe a nanomoulding technique which allows low-cost nanoscale patterning of functional materials, materials stacks and full devices. Nanomoulding can be performed on any nanoimprinting setup and can be applied to a wide range of materials and deposition processes.
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.
Here we describe a method for mounting zebrafish embryos for long-term imaging, two-photon imaging and tissue-damage techniques, and time-lapse confocal imaging.
1Institute for Biological Interfaces, Karlsruhe Research Centre, 2Institute for BioMedical Technology, University of Twente, 3Department of Materials Research, Institute for Heavy Ion Research, 4Institute of Microstructure Technology, Karlsruhe Research Centre, 5Institute for Micro Process Engineering, Karlsruhe Research Centre
We present two processes for the microfabrication of porous polymer chips for three-dimensional cell cultivation. The first one is hot embossing combined with a solvent vapour welding process. The second one uses a recently developed microthermoforming process combined with ion track technology leading to a significant simplification of manufacture.
A technique is described to quantify the in vivo physiological response of mammalian neurons during movement and correlate the physiology of the neuron with neuronal morphology, neurochemical phenotype and synaptic microcircuitry.
A cyclic pressure bioreactor capable of subjecting heart valve tissue to physiological and pathological pressure conditions has been designed. A LabVIEW program allows users to control pressure magnitude, amplitude and frequency. This device can be used to study the mechanobiology of heart valve tissue or isolated cells.
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.
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.
Characterization of Surface Modifications by White Light Interferometry: Applications in Ion Sputtering, Laser Ablation, and Tribology Experiments
White light microscope interferometry is an optical, noncontact and quick method for measuring the topography of surfaces. It is shown how the method can be applied toward mechanical wear analysis, where wear scars on tribological test samples are analyzed; and in materials science to determine ion beam sputtering or laser ablation volumes and depths.
Retinal ganglion cells transmit visual information from the eye to the brain with sequences of action potentials. Here, we demonstrate how to record the action potentials of single ganglion cells in vivo from anesthetized rats.
Despite an increase in the use of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans, the study of young pediatric populations remains a challenge. We present a hands-on, step-by-step video protocol including guidelines for clinicians and researchers intending to perform (f)MRI in young children.
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.
Evaluation of Polymeric Gene Delivery Nanoparticles by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis and High-throughput Flow Cytometry
1Biomedical Engineering Department, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 3Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 4Institute for Nanobiotechnology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
A protocol for nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and high-throughput flow cytometry to evaluate polymeric gene delivery nanoparticles is described. NTA is utilized to characterize the nanoparticle particle size distribution and the plasmid per particle distribution. High-throughput flow cytometry enables quantitative transfection efficacy evaluation for a library of gene delivery biomaterials.
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.
1Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, 2Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, 3Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, 4Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
A method to culture an endothelial cell monolayer throughout the entire inner 3D surface of a microfluidic device with microvascular-sized channels (<30 μm) is described. This in vitro microvasculature model enables the study of biophysical interactions between blood cells, endothelial cells, and soluble factors in hematologic diseases.
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.