The stiffness of the extracellular matrix strongly influences multiple behaviors of adherent cells. Matrix stiffness varies spatially throughout a tissue, and undergoes modification in various disease conditions. Here we develop methods to characterize spatial variations in stiffness in normal and fibrotic mouse lung tissue using atomic force microscopy microindentation.
A demonstration of the bedside test for cutaneous allodynia and its clinical implications.
Here we describe a data collection and data analysis method for functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), a novel non-invasive brain imaging system used in cognitive neuroscience, particularly in studying child brain development. This method provides a universal standard of data acquisition and analysis vital to data interpretation and scientific discovery.
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.
Breathing-controlled Electrical Stimulation (BreEStim) for Management of Neuropathic Pain and Spasticity
1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 2UTHealth Motor Recovery Laboratory, TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital, 3The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR), TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital
The purpose is to present a new method, breathing-control electrical stimulation (BreEStim) for management of neuropathic pain and spasticity.
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.
FMRI and physiological monitoring is used to study the effects of Acupuncture on the central and peripheral nervous systems. Acupuncture mobilizes a limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network, with great overlap with the default mode network, to modulate neurological activity, possibly related to its autonomic effect in the peripheral nervous system.
Non-invasive measurements of neural activity patterns in freely behaving animals are obtained by combining neurophysiological recordings with high speed videography.
Monitoring Changes in the Intracellular Calcium Concentration and Synaptic Efficacy in the Mollusc Aplysia
1Fishberg Department of Neuroscience and Friedman Brain Institute, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, 2Phase Five Communications Inc.
We demonstrate how changes in the intracellular free calcium concentration and synaptic efficacy can be simultaneously monitored in a ganglion preparation of Aplysia. We image intracellular calcium using a fluorescent dye, Calcium Orange, and induce and monitor synaptic transmission with sharp (intracellular) electrodes.
Neural control and cognitive processes can be studied through eye movements. The VisualEyes software allows an operator to program stimuli on two computer screens independently using a simple, custom scripting language. The system can stimulate tandem eye movements (saccades and smooth pursuit) or opposing eye movements (vergence) or any combination.
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.
The Neuroblast Assay: An Assay for the Generation and Enrichment of Neuronal Progenitor Cells from Differentiating Neural Stem Cell Progeny Using Flow Cytometry
This video protocol demonstrates a novel method for the generation and subsequent purification of neuronal progenitor cells from a renewable source of neural stem cells (NSCs) based on their physical (size and internal granularity) and fluorescent properties using flow cytometry technology.
A modified 3-D in vitro system is presented in which growth characteristics of several tumor cell lines in reconstituted basement membrane correlate with the dormant or proliferative behavior of the tumor cells at a metastatic secondary site in vivo.
Investigating Outer Hair Cell Motility with a Combination of External Alternating Electrical Field Stimulation and High-speed Image Analysis
A reliable method to investigate outer hair cell (OHC) motile responses, including electromotility, slow motility and bending, is described. OHC motility is elicited by stimulation with an external alternating electrical field, and the method takes advantage of high-speed image recording, LED-based illumination, and last generation image analysis software.
Mapping Cortical Dynamics Using Simultaneous MEG/EEG and Anatomically-constrained Minimum-norm Estimates: an Auditory Attention Example
We use magneto- and electroencephalography (MEG/EEG), combined with anatomical information captured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to map the dynamics of the cortical network associated with auditory attention.
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.
Preparation of Acute Hippocampal Slices from Rats and Transgenic Mice for the Study of Synaptic Alterations during Aging and Amyloid Pathology
1Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, 2Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 3Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
This article outlines procedures for preparing hippocampal slices from rats and transgenic mice for the study of synaptic alterations associated with brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
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.
Adult and Embryonic Skeletal Muscle Microexplant Culture and Isolation of Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells
The micro-dissected explants technique is a robust and reliable method for isolating proliferative skeletal muscle cells from juvenile, adult or embryonic muscles as a source of skeletal muscle stem cells. Uniquely, these cells have been clonally derived to produce skeletal muscle stem cell lines used for in vivo transplantation.
This procedure uses a blue light-activated algal channel and cell-specific genetic expression tools to evoke synaptic potentials with light pulses at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in Drosophila larvae. This technique is an inexpensive and easy-to-use alternative to suction electrode stimulation for synaptic physiology studies in research and teaching laboratories.
Expansion of Embryonic and Adult Neural Stem Cells by In Utero Electroporation or Viral Stereotaxic Injection
Controlling the expansion of somatic stem cells is a major factor hampering their study and use in therapy. Here we describe a system to temporally control neural stem cells expansion during development and adulthood, which can be used to increase the number of neurons generated in the mouse brain.
Simultaneous Intracellular Recording of a Lumbar Motoneuron and the Force Produced by its Motor Unit in the Adult Mouse In vivo
This new method permits the simultaneous intracellular recording of a single adult mouse motoneuron and the measurement of the force produced by its muscle fibers. The combined investigation of the electrical and mechanical properties of motor units in normal and genetically modified animals is a breakthrough for the study of the neuromuscular system.
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.
Quantitative Analysis of Synaptic Vesicle Pool Replenishment in Cultured Cerebellar Granule Neurons using FM Dyes
A live fluorescence imaging technique to quantify the replenishment and mobilisation of specific synaptic vesicle (SV) pools in central nerve terminals is described. Two rounds of SV recycling are monitored in the same nerve terminals providing an internal control.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2Department of Physics, Harbin Institute of Technology, 3Department of Ophthalmology, University of Southern California, 4Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University
Photoacoustic ophthalmology (PAOM), an optical-absorption-based imaging modality, provides the complementary evaluation of the retina to the currently available ophthalmic imaging technologies. We report the using of PAOM integrated with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) for simultaneous multimodal retinal imaging in rats.
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.
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.
Event-related potential (ERP) recording is under utilized in Cognitive Neuroscience because data acquisition techniques are not readily available and this method often has poor spatial resolution. To foster the increased use of ERPs in Cognitive Neuroscience, the present article details key techniques involved in high density ERP data acquisition.
In this protocol, we describe the direct cytoplasmic microinjection of cytochrome c protein into fibroblasts and primary sympathetic neurons. This technique allows for the introduction of cytochrome c protein into the cytoplasm of cells and mimics the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, which occurs during apoptosis.
With its small transparent body, well-documented neuroanatomy and a host of amenable genetic techniques and reagents, C. elegans makes an ideal model organism for in vivo neuronal imaging using relatively simple, low-cost techniques. Here we describe single neuron imaging within intact adult animals using genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicators.
Forward genetics is a powerful method to unravel the molecular level of how Toxoplasma egresses from its host cell. Protocols are provided to chemically mutagenize parasites, enrich for mutants with defects in induced egress, and validate the phenotype of cloned mutants.
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.
A method for developing cell culture substrates with the ability to change topography during culture is described. The method makes use of smart materials known as shape memory polymers that have the ability to memorize a permanent shape. This concept is adaptable to a wide range of materials and applications.
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.
The present report details the protocol employed to measure the rewarding effects of high-fat food in mice using a progressive ratio operant conditioning task.
Xenopus egg extract is a useful model system to investigate the DNA damage checkpoint. This protocol is for the preparation of Xenopus egg extracts and DNA damage checkpoint inducing reagents. These techniques are adaptable to a variety of DNA damaging approaches in the study of the DNA damage checkpoint signaling.
1Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and Friedman Brain Institute, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, 2Department of Psychology, New York University, 3Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University
Conditioned fear can be diminished through an inhibitory process called extinction, but can resurface under conditions such as the passage of time or exposure to stress. Our protocol presents a novel way of preventing fear recovery by introducing extinction during the reconsolidation window (the re-storage phase of a reactivated memory).
Microiontophoresis and Micromanipulation for Intravital Fluorescence Imaging of the Microcirculation
Microiontophoresis entails movement of ions from a micropipette in response to a difference in electrical potential between the inside and outside of the micropipette. Biologically active molecules are thereby delivered in proportion to electrical current. We illustrate acetylcholine microiontophoresis in conjunction with micromanipulation to study endothelium-dependent vasodilation in the microcirculation.
Here are some highlights from the January 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
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.
Density Gradient Multilayered Polymerization (DGMP): A Novel Technique for Creating Multi-compartment, Customizable Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
1Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 2Biomedical Sciences Program, University of California, San Diego, 3Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego
Here we describe a unique strategy for creating biocompatible, layered matrices with continuous interfaces between distinct layers for tissue engineering. Such a scaffold could provide an ideal customizable environment to modulate cell behavior by various biological, chemical or mechanical cues
Dual Electrophysiological Recordings of Synaptically-evoked Astroglial and Neuronal Responses in Acute Hippocampal Slices
The preparation of acute brain slices from isolated hippocampi, as well as the simultaneous electrophysiological recordings of astrocytes and neurons in stratum radiatum during stimulation of schaffer collaterals is described. The pharmacological isolation of astroglial potassium and glutamate transporter currents is demonstrated.
We describe how to measure near membrane and global intracellular calcium dynamics in cultured astrocytes using total internal reflection and epifluorescence microscopy.
Here we use a human esiRNA library in a high-throughput screen for genes involved in cell division. We demonstrate how to set up and conduct an esiRNA screens, as well as how to analyze and validate the results.
An efficient method to gain insights into visualizing the paracrine-derived ROS induction of endothelial Ca2+ signaling is described. This method takes advantage of measuring paracrine derived ROS triggered Ca2+ mobilization in vascular endothelial cells in a co-culture model.
BioLife Solutions, Inc.
CryoStor cryopreservation solutions are used to prepare and preserve cells in ultra low temperature environments, without the need for serum, proteins, or high levels of cytotoxic agents.
Generation and Labeling of Murine Bone Marrow-derived Dendritic Cells with Qdot Nanocrystals for Tracking Studies
1Molecular and Cell Biology Program, Ohio University, 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Ohio University
Dendritic cells uptake antigens and migrate towards immune organs to present processed antigens to T cells. Qdot nanocrystal labeling provides a long-lasting and stable fluorescent signal. This allows tracking of dendritic cells to different organs by fluorescent microscopy.
1Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2Cell Biology Program, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 3Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
To purify zygotes of S. cerevisiae, haploid cells of opposite mating type were engineered to express red or green fluorescent proteins, co-incubated to allow zygote formation, and fractionated using a flow cytometry-based protocol. The highly-enriched fraction enables subsequent "-omic" studies, recovery of initial progeny, and systematic investigation of zygote morphogenesis.
Calcium is a ubiquitous messenger in the nervous system, essential for triggering neurotransmitter release and changes in synaptic strength. Here we demonstrate a technique for loading Ca2+-indicators into Drosophila nerve terminals. We also demonstrate fabrication of the required apparatus and emphasize points critical for the technique's success.
Rat Mesentery Exteriorization: A Model for Investigating the Cellular Dynamics Involved in Angiogenesis
This article describes a simple model for stimulating angiogenesis in the rat mesentery. The model produces dramatic increases in capillary sprouting, vascular area and vascular density over a relatively short time course in a tissue that allows en face visualization of entire microvascular networks down to the single cell level.