Scheme: Industry Fellowship
Organisation: Scientifica Ltd
Dates: May 2009-Apr 2012
Summary: Scientifica Ltd is a UK based company and has joined forces with Dr Jesper Sjöström’ lab to develop and optimize a fully automated electrophysiology and imaging workstation. The success of electrophysiology, like many other disciplines of research, depends not only on the quality of the biological sample but also on the quality of the equipment used by the researcher. There is an abundant of information regarding the biological difficulties available to the researcher; however information on the equipment demands is not readily available. Scientifica, with the help of the Royal Society Industrial Fellowship, has provided me the task of “end-user” to ensure that a fully optimized system is developed. This means that our developments will meet the technical demands required by electrophysiologist for breakthrough discoveries.
Understanding the brains micro-circuitry is a challenge because of the unpredictable connectivity patterns within the brain. The probability of recording from two connected neurons is very low however can be increased exponentially by increasing the number of recording electrodes (Connections = n*(n-1)). This requires specialized slim-lined micromanipulators.
Additionally the heterogeneous population of neurons requires high resolution imaging for identification and, ultimately, the classification thereof. 2-Photon microscopy of fluorophore-filled cells will enable is. At the end of the Industrial Fellowship we will provide the research community with a multifunctional 2-photon microscopy equipped for multiple microelectrode patch clamp recordings.