Dr. Lisandro Cunci

Institution: Ana G. Mendez Gurabo Campus

Email: cuncil1@uagm.edu

Multielectrode spatial mapping of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides in acute brain slices

This research proposal aims to develop and validate hardware and software required for microelectrode arrays that are sensitive to neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and correlate with extracellular action potentials for measuring the release of NPY from hippocampus and other neurotransmitters. In this way, we will be able to find correlations between neurotransmitters and neuropeptides levels, and action potentials with anxiety disorders. In order to do this, a modular multiexcitation multielectrode system will be developed two electrochemical strategies have been devised to monitor biomolecules in real-time. Non-electroactive and electroactive molecules in the brain are difficult to measure at the same time with high temporal and spatial resolution and neuropeptides have been a challenge.  Electrochemical-based techniques are powerful and can be used to measure the physical and chemical properties of the surface and they have been vastly used for the detection of molecules with very low detection limits. The development of a modular multielectrode hardware and software will allow the possibility to correlate neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and action potential measurements at the same time. Different molecules that are potentially released together with NPY will be measured using the developed hardware and software. Rats brain slices will be used on gold microelectrode arrays to test the developed system. Gold microelectrodes measuring up to 50 micrometers will provide the appropriate substrate for the adsorption and desorption of molecules as well as the aptamer modification to filter NPY signals from other confounding molecules. Concomitant electrochemical and electrophysiological measurement in CA1 will be done to filter NPY from the different other signals measured. The confirmation of the measurements will be done using the WaveNeuro DUO from PINE Research, which can measure two electrodes at the same time. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and fast scan cyclic voltammetry have shown to be important techniques that allow the measurement of faradaic as well as non-faradaic currents providing a picture of the electroactive species as well as non-electroactive species that interact with the electrode’s surfaces. The combination of fast scan cyclic voltammetry with electrochemical impedance measurements in the same system will empower the research community using microelectrodes for real-time measurement of biomolecules such as neurotransmitters and neuropeptides.