A Microfluidics Approach to Investigate Axon Guidance
Final rept. 1 Apr-31 Dec 2006
CALIFORNIA UNIV BERKELEY
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The purpose of this STR project was to demonstrate and explore the capabilities of a novel microfluidic concentration-gradient generator, as it relates to developmental and regenerative neurobiology. The device, consisting of a series of alternating cell-culture chambers and reagent channels that are interconnected via micro-channels, establishes and maintains steady concentration gradients within a static cell-culture chamber for neuronal culture. Concentration gradients of both small molecules pharmaceutical agents and second messengers and macromolecules neurotrophins and other proteins can be easily achieved and quantified in this device. Thus, quantitative studies of neuronal polarization and axon pathfinding of neurons in response to micro-environmental cues can be accomplished. Ultimately, the device can be integrated with potentially implantable solid-state devices and subsequently deliver the appropriate concentration gradient and combination of guidance cues to specific axons. In so doing, we will no doubt advance the next-generation prosthetics.
- Anatomy and Physiology