English Chemist Harold Kroto shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley for their discovery of Fullerenes (C60), molecules composed completely of carbon that form hollow spheres (also known as Buckyballs), tubes, or ellipsoids. These structures hold the potential for use in future technologies ranging from drug development and antimicrobial agents, to armor and superconductors.
We present a microfluidic approach for the expression of protein arrays. The device consists of thousands of reaction chambers controlled by micro-mechanical valves. The microfluidic device is mated to a microarray-printed gene library. These genes are then transcribed and translated on-chip, resulting in a protein array ready for experimental use.
Haptic/Graphic Rehabilitation: Integrating a Robot into a Virtual Environment Library and Applying it to Stroke Therapy
Recently, a vast amount of prospects have come available for human-robot interactive systems. In this paper we outline the integration of a new robotic device with open source software that can rapidly make possible a library of interactive functionality. We then outline a clinical application for a neurorehabilitation application.
Classical fear conditioning paradigm was adapted for human participants in a fully immersive virtual reality setting. Using a discrimination paradigm, conditioned fear, cue and context memory retention, and extinction was measured with skin conductance response to dynamic virtual snakes and spiders (the conditioned stimuli) in two distinct virtual contexts.
The CompoZr Custom Zinc-Finger Nuclease (ZFN) Service enables precise genome editing in any organism or cell line at any locus defined by the user. This article describes the process for the design, manufacture, validation and implementation of the CompoZr Custom ZFN Service.
The comparative species approach allows behavioral neuroscientists to explore various neurobiological factors associated with specific behaviors viewed as characteristic of a specific animal model. Taking advantage of naturally occurring differences in behavior between closely related species, this technique doesn’t require invasive techniques to manipulate the expression of the behavior.
Measuring the Subjective Value of Risky and Ambiguous Options using Experimental Economics and Functional MRI Methods
1Section of Comparative Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurobiology, Yale School of Medicine, 3Center for Neural Science, New York University, 4Department of Psychology, New York University, 5Department of Economics, New York University
Using functional MRI and behavioral methods to determine the neural representation of the subjective value of risky and ambiguous options in the human brain.
The present article describes the steps required to isolate and characterize RNA polymerase fidelity variants of RNA viruses and how to use mutation frequency data to confirm fidelity changes in tissue culture.
A suite of spatiotemporal processing methods are presented to analyze human trajectory data, such as that collected using a GPS device, for the purpose of modeling pedestrian space-time activities.
Enabling High Grayscale Resolution Displays and Accurate Response Time Measurements on Conventional Computers
1Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Brain Imaging, The Ohio State University, 2Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, 3Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California, 4Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Southern California, 5Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University
Conventional computer hardware can not generate visual stimuli with sufficiently high grayscale resolution and measure response times with sufficient accuracy. We describe how to use the VideoSwitcher to produce high-resolution monochromatic displays, and the RTbox to measure response times with high accuracy on conventional computer hardware.
Video playback is a widely used technique in animal behavior. We created and evaluated a program that applies rules-based, interactive playback of 3-D computer animations in response to real-time, automated data on subject behavior.
The ITS2 Database is a workbench for phylogenetic inference simultaneously considering sequence and secondary structure of the internal transcribed spacer 2. This includes data collection with accurate annotation, structure prediction, multiple sequence-structure alignment and fast tree calculation. In a nutshell, this workbench simplifies first phylogenetic analyses to a few clicks.
FRET Microscopy for Real-time Monitoring of Signaling Events in Live Cells Using Unimolecular Biosensors
Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy is a powerful technique for real-time monitoring of signaling events in live cells using various biosensors as reporters. Here we describe how to build a customized epifluorescence FRET imaging system from commercially available components and how to use it for FRET experiments.
Patterned Photostimulation with Digital Micromirror Devices to Investigate Dendritic Integration Across Branch Points
Digital micromirror devices (DMD) can generate complex patterns in time and space with which to control neuronal excitability. Issues relevant to the design, construction, and operation of DMD systems are discussed. Such a system enabled the demonstration of non-linear integration across distal dendritic branch points.
We used synchrotron X-ray tomography at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) to non-invasively produce 3D tomographic datasets with a pixel-resolution of 0.7µm. Using volume rendering software, this allows the reconstruction of internal structures in their natural state without the artefacts produced by histological sectioning.
Amblyopia is a developmental disorder of the visual cortex that is often accompanied by strong suppression of one eye. We present a new technique for measuring and treating interocular suppression in patients with amblyopia that can be deployed using virtual reality goggles or a portable iPod Touch device.
1Neural Regeneration Laboratory and Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, 2Carleton Immersive Media Studio, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, Carleton University
Here, we describe how to produce, expand, and immunolabel postnatal hippocampal neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in three-dimensional (3D) culture. Next, using hybrid visualization technologies, we demonstrate how digital images of immunolabelled cryosections can be used to reconstruct and map the spatial position of immunopositive cells throughout the entire 3D neurosphere.
Metabolic memory is the phenomenon by which diabetic complications persist and progress unimpeded even after euglycemia is achieved pharmaceutically. Here we describe a diabetes mellitus zebrafish model which is unique in that it allows for the examination of the mitotically transmissible epigenetic components of metabolic memory in vivo.
We present principles of oxygen measurements by phosphorescence quenching and review design of porphyrin-based dendritic nanosensors for oxygen imaging in biological systems.
This article describes a tissue transplantation technique that was designed to test the signaling and patterning properties of surface cephalic ectoderm during craniofacial development.
Development of an Audio-based Virtual Gaming Environment to Assist with Navigation Skills in the Blind
1Laboratory for Visual Neuroplasticity, Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Computer Science and Center for Advanced Research in Education (CARE), University of Chile
Audio-based Environment Simulator (AbES) is virtual environment software designed to improve real world navigation skills in the blind.
1Department of Paediatrics, Division of Infectious and Immunological Diseases, Child and Family Research Institute, University of British Columbia, 2Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia, 3Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia
Visual analytics (VA) is a new approach of analyzing data interactively. In this video, we discuss the data overload problem brought on by high-throughput biological experiments, and propose VA as a solution to such problem. The video demonstrates analysis within and between immunological datasets using a VA tool called Tableau.
A test battery (IMAP) for performing an in-depth assessment of auditory and cognitive abilities contributing to listening skills is described. It is quick to administer, child-friendly and free from linguistic confounds. Stimulus generation and protocol management are controlled via a software platform (IHR-STAR) to ensure replicable procedures.
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.
Here are some highlights from the August 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Reduction in Left Ventricular Wall Stress and Improvement in Function in Failing Hearts using Algisyl-LVR
This article describes procedures for implanting a novel hydrogel in failing hearts and quantifying its effect on left ventricular wall stress and function. These procedures have been successfully applied in dogs and humans.
An Analytical Tool that Quantifies Cellular Morphology Changes from Three-dimensional Fluorescence Images
1Medications Development, Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, 2Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of California, San Francisco, 3Translational Research Institute and the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
We developed a software platform that utilizes Imaris Neuroscience, ImarisXT and MATLAB to measure the changes in morphology of an undefined shape taken from three-dimensional confocal fluorescence of single cells. This novel approach can be used to quantify changes in cell shape following receptor activation and therefore represents a possible additional tool for drug discovery.
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.
Dopamine replacement pharmacotherapy using L-DOPA is the most commonly used symptomatic treatment of Parkinson’s disease, but is accompanied by side effects including involuntary abnormal movements, termed dyskinesia 1. Here, a protocol for MALDI imaging mass spectrometry is presented that detects changes in rat brain neuropeptide levels related to dyskinesia.
1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, UMR 631, Parc scientifique de Luminy, 2Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 6102, Parc scientifique de Luminy, 3Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Aix-Marseille University, 4École Centrale Marseille, Technopôle de Château-Gombert, 5Institut Fresnel, Aix-Marseille University, 6Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 6133, Aix-Marseille University
Multiple-Target Tracing is a homemade algorithm developed for tracking individually labeled molecules within the plasma membrane of living cells. Efficiently detecting, estimating and tracing molecules over time at high-density provide a user-friendly, comprehensive tool to investigate nanoscale membrane dynamics.
Microbial biofilms are generally constituted by distinct subpopulations of specialized cells. Single-cell analysis of these subpopulations requires the use of fluorescent reporters. Here we describe a protocol to visualize and monitor several subpopulationswithin B. subtilis biofilms using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.
Retraining abnormal movement patterns following injury or disease is a key component of physical rehabilitation. Recent advances in technology have permitted accurate assessment of movement during a variety of tasks, with near instantaneous quantification of results. This provides new opportunities for modification of faulty movement patterns in real time.
1Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, 2Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology, Department of Psychology, Concordia University
Circadian rhythms in voluntary wheel-running activity in mammals are tightly coupled to the molecular oscillations of a master clock in the brain. As such, these daily rhythms in behavior can be used to study the influence of genetic, pharmacological, and environmental factors on the functioning of this circadian clock.
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.
1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Med Center, 3Centre de Recherche de l'institut du Cerveau et la Moelle Epinière (CRICM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Phosphenes are transient percepts of light that can be induced by applying Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to visually sensitive regions of cortex. We demonstrate a standard protocol for determining the phosphene threshold value and introduce a novel method for quantifying and analyzing perceived phosphenes.
Crystal structure of protein–DNA complexes can provide insight into protein function, mechanism, as well as, the nature of the specific interaction. Here, we report how to optimize the length, sequence and ends of duplex DNA for co-crystallization with Escherichia coli SeqA, a negative regulator of replication initiation.
A technique for performing quantitative three-dimensional (3D) imaging for a range of fluid flows is presented. Using concepts from the area of Light Field Imaging, we reconstruct 3D volumes from arrays of images. Our 3D results span a broad range including velocity fields and multi-phase bubble size distributions.
The Solaris qPCR Gene Expression Assays are novel pre-designed qPCR primer/probe combinations designed to simplify the qPCR process without sacrificing the specificity and robustness of the assay.
The current article describes the basics of multivariate analysis and contrasts it to the more commonly used voxel-wise univariate analysis. Both types of analysis are applied to a clinical-neuroscience data set. Supplementary split-half simulations show better replication of the multivariate results in independent data sets.
A lensless on-chip fluorescent microscopy platform is demonstrated that can image fluorescent objects over an ultra-wide field-of-view of e.g., >0.6-8 cm2 with <4μm resolution using a compressive sampling based decoding algorithm. Such a compact and wide-field fluorescent on-chip imaging modality could be valuable for high-throughput cytometry, rare-cell research and microarray-analysis.
1Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, 3Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center
Lateral fluid percussion (LFP), an established model of traumatic brain injury in mice, is demonstrated. LFP fulfills three major criteria for animal models: validity, reliability and clinical relevance. The procedure, consisting of surgical craniotomy, fixation of hub followed by induction of injury, resulting in focal and diffuse injuries, is described.
Here, we describe a protocol for the purification of highly active Hsp104, a hexameric AAA+ protein from yeast, which couples ATP hydrolysis to protein disaggregation. This scheme exploits a His6-tagged construct for affinity purification from E. coli followed by anion-exchange chromatography, His6-tag removal with TEV protease, and size-exclusion chromatography.
1Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute, Georgia Health Sciences University, 2Vision Discovery Institute, Georgia Health Sciences University, 3Department of Opthalmology, Georgia Health Sciences University, 4Intelligent Systems Laboratory, Palo Alto Research Center, 5Pattern Recognition Systems, Palo Alto Research Center, 6Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota
We describe a novel methodology for creating naturalistic 3-D objects and object categories with precisely defined feature variations. We use simulations of the biological processes of morphogenesis and phylogenesis to create novel, naturalistic virtual 3-D objects and object categories that can then be rendered as visual images or haptic objects.
A Modified EPA Method 1623 that Uses Tangential Flow Hollow-fiber Ultrafiltration and Heat Dissociation Steps to Detect Waterborne Cryptosporidium and Giardia spp.
1National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, 2Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, 3Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, US Environmental Protection Agency
This protocol describes the use of a tangential flow hollow-fiber ultrafiltration sample concentration system and a heat dissociation as alternative steps for the detection of waterborne Cryptosporidium and Giardia species using EPA Method 1623.
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.
A recently developed novel particle agglutination (PA) assay utilizing virus receptor molecule allowed a rapid and easy identification of poliovirus (PV). In this article, we will show the procedure for the PA assay for PV identification.
Large Scale Non-targeted Metabolomic Profiling of Serum by Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS)
Non-targeted metabolite profiling by ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) is a powerful technique to investigate metabolism. This article outlines a typical workflow utilized for non-targeted metabolite profiling of serum including sample organization and preparation, data acquisition, data analysis, quality control, and metabolite identification.
We developed and validated a small-footprint array of miniature chemostats built from readily available parts for low cost. Physiological and experimental evolution results were similar to larger volume chemostats. The ministat array provides a compact, inexpensive, and accessible platform for traditional chemostat experiments, functional genomics, and chemical screening applications.
1Electrical Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, 2Bioengineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, 3California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), University of California, Los Angeles
We review our recent results on the integration of fluorescent microscopy and imaging flow cytometry tools on a cell-phone using compact and cost-effective opto-fluidic attachments. These cell-phone based micro-analysis devices might be useful for cytometric analysis, such as performing various cell counting tasks as well as for high-throughput screening of e.g., water samples in resource limited settings.
Correlating Behavioral Responses to fMRI Signals from Human Prefrontal Cortex: Examining Cognitive Processes Using Task Analysis
The goal of our research is to correlate behavior to brain activity. Accurate behavioral measures and imaging techniques allow us to elucidate brain-behavior relationships.