Title

Two-Electrode Voltage Clamp Apparatus for Whole Cell Recordings using Xenopus laevis Oocytes

Format

SOECS Senior Project Demonstration

Abstract/Artist Statement

Neuroreceptors and ion channels mediate signaling in the nervous system. Scientist have been studying and characterizing them for years in order to get a deeper understanding of the nervous system and of various neurological disorders. One technique used to study them is the two- electrode voltage clamp. This technique holds the oocyte at a constant voltage and allows researchers to measure any and all changes in the membrane current as a result of exposing the oocyte to various different ions and drugs. A two-electrode voltage clamp (TEVC) apparatus, dubbed “The Cell Biter 1”, was developed a year ago by another senior project team. It was developed and built for Dr. Robert Halliwell in the School of Pharmacy and was meant to be a simple and cheap alternative to other expensive TEVC that are out on the market. The team, however, was unable to complete the device by the deadline. Our team has decided to pick up the project and make modifications to the existing design. Our task was to optimize the amplifier so that a minimal amount of internal noise is present inside of the system. It was also specified by Dr. Halliwell that a breakaway circuit be added into the Cell Biter 1. The breakaway circuit would allow researches to manually turn the voltage clamp mode on and off. Once finished, this device will prove to be an invaluable tool for Dr. Halliwell's team to use for their neuropharmacological studies.

Location

School of Engineering and Computer Sciences

Start Date

6-5-2006 2:00 PM

End Date

6-5-2006 3:30 PM

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May 6th, 2:00 PM May 6th, 3:30 PM

Two-Electrode Voltage Clamp Apparatus for Whole Cell Recordings using Xenopus laevis Oocytes

School of Engineering and Computer Sciences

Neuroreceptors and ion channels mediate signaling in the nervous system. Scientist have been studying and characterizing them for years in order to get a deeper understanding of the nervous system and of various neurological disorders. One technique used to study them is the two- electrode voltage clamp. This technique holds the oocyte at a constant voltage and allows researchers to measure any and all changes in the membrane current as a result of exposing the oocyte to various different ions and drugs. A two-electrode voltage clamp (TEVC) apparatus, dubbed “The Cell Biter 1”, was developed a year ago by another senior project team. It was developed and built for Dr. Robert Halliwell in the School of Pharmacy and was meant to be a simple and cheap alternative to other expensive TEVC that are out on the market. The team, however, was unable to complete the device by the deadline. Our team has decided to pick up the project and make modifications to the existing design. Our task was to optimize the amplifier so that a minimal amount of internal noise is present inside of the system. It was also specified by Dr. Halliwell that a breakaway circuit be added into the Cell Biter 1. The breakaway circuit would allow researches to manually turn the voltage clamp mode on and off. Once finished, this device will prove to be an invaluable tool for Dr. Halliwell's team to use for their neuropharmacological studies.