Electrophysiological analysis of optically active stem cell derived mouse neural networks
Solomotis, Nicholas James
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Understanding neural networks and their characteristics leads to the establishment potential research models or targets for treatments of neuromuscular and other neurodegenerative diseases. Multielectrode array (MEA) technology and optogenetics, the integration of light-sensing ion gated channels, gives researchers the ability record communication between cells and allow for the analysis of emergent behavior and characteristics of developing neural networks. This study uses HBG3 ChR2 mESC’s with directed differentiation toward motor neurons to form mixed population neural networks on the MEA. Pharmacological treatments demonstrated functional inhibitory and excitatory responses for both glutamate and GABA receptors. After repeated light exposure, the effective integration of the ChR2 protein was seen in raster-plot analysis. Proving that the activity of these networks can be controlled both pharmacologically and optically will lead to a higher degree of network manipulation and allow for the establishment of advanced multipurpose models for further investigation of neurological connectivity, functions, and diseases.