Precise Neural Circuit Probe with Reversible Functionality

Tech ID: 24826 / UC Case 2015-001-0

Brief Description

A neural circuit probe microscope attachment that uses atomic force microscope technology to apply tiny, precisely controlled forces to axons or axon bundles to interfere reversibly with neural transmission on a multielectrode array.

Background

Neuroscientists concur that a deep understanding of brain circuitry will reveal cognition. However, there is a lack of available probes for studying these brain circuits, in contrast to the wealth of tools available to probe electronic circuits.  In particular, there are no existing tools to reversibly interrupt communication along one axon and simultaneously measure the effects on the circuit.

Description

Reaching a level of detail that has never been achieved before, UC Santa Barbara researchers have developed a neural circuit probe microscope attachment that uses atomic force microscope technology to apply tiny, precisely controlled forces to axons or axon bundles to interfere reversibly with neural transmission on a multielectrode array. It can also use scanning ion conductance microscope technology to precisely position a multiple barrel pipette over a neuron, axon or dendrite. The other barrels of the pipette can be used for high resolution mapping of action potentials, the delivery and removal of chemicals, measuring local pH and more.  When specific functional transmission routes are disrupted, this tool can be used to assess the neural network response.  Thus it provides a way of checking the validity of neural circuit models – seeing if they can correctly predict the effects of a specific disruption.

Neural circuit probe 

Advantages

  • Can make reversible changes to neural transmissions on a multielectrode array
  • Precise level of control never before achieved

Applications

  • Neural network research with atomic force microscope (AFM) or scanning ion conductance microscope (SICM) technology

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20170241976 08/24/2017 2015-001
 

Contact

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Inventors

  • Bridges, Daniel C.
  • Drake, Barney F.
  • Hansma, Paul K.
  • Kosik, Kenneth S.
  • Randall, Connor J.
  • Theogarajan, Luke
  • Tovar, Kenneth

Other Information

Keywords

atomic force microscope, neural network, scanning ion conductance, indpharma, indansens

Categorized As