Recognizing current limitations, scientists begin quest for a new approach to imaging brain cells activity

PHILADELPHIA Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are aiming to develop a novel imaging system that can capture snapshots of activity across large swaths of individual brain cells. Their interdisciplinary approach, supported by a new five-year, $1 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, could be a boon for neuroscientists hampered by the imperfect techniques now available for viewing the microscopic changes wrought neuron by neuron as the brain works.

The effort to invent this new brain imaging technique, led by Leif H. Finkel, professor of bioengineering, brings together two bioengineers, four neuroscientists and a physicist, members of Penns Institute for Medicine and Engineering and its Institute of Neurological Science. Their work comes as neuroscientists recognize the limitations of even the best windows into the brains inner workings, currently microelectrode recordings of individual neurons and medical imaging techniques such as EEG and MRI scans.

When trying to capture the activity of nerve cells in the brain, scientists face a daunting task somewhat akin to using flawed photographic equipment to shoot a swarming mob of people. The goal is a view so crisp that you can easily recognize each one, but the only cameras available either leave the individuals blurry beyond recognition or give a clear picture of only a small number of those scattered throughout the crowd.

To remedy this marked imprecision in imaging the brains active cells, Finkel and his colleagues envision an entirely new kind of optical "camera" that would effectively permit clear millisecond-by-millisecond pictures of each of the thousands of neurons within a brain region.

"Our understanding of how the nervous system carries out its functions learning, perception, memory, and cognition is severely limited by current technology," Finkel says. "We are able, via microelectrode recordings, to monitor the activity of individual cells, and som

Contact: Steve Bradt
University of Pennsylvania

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Select research highlights from current AACR journals
2. Endangered turtles trek along ocean currents revealed by satellite
3. Scientists report on the current state of INEELs nuclear waste contamination
4. Memories are harder to forget than currently thought
5. Vitamins do little to prevent recurrent stroke
6. Novel approaches to current cellular therapies continue progress toward disease prevention
7. Use of new direct thrombin inhibitor may be as effective as current standard treatment
8. Project to make smallpox inoculations safe by leashing current vaccine virus
9. Host response to anthrax lethal toxin suggests some current treatment strategies are inappropriate
10. Women are more likely to suffer recurrent miscarriages if their first child is a boy
11. African HIV strains appear more resistant to current therapies

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/6/2019)... ... June 05, 2019 , ... MedTech Breakthrough , an ... and medical technology market, announced that it has selected Medacta International’s MySpine® MC ... in the 2019 MedTech Breakthrough Awards program. , Medacta® is ...
(Date:6/4/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... June 04, 2019 , ... ... manufacturing of orthopedic medical devices, today announced Q1-19 revenues of $31M, up 12% ... combined with successful roll-out of strategic investments & operational excellence initiatives worldwide. , ...
(Date:6/4/2019)... ... June 04, 2019 , ... Most preclinical EEG ... seizure risk signals, usually based on variations of amplitude, frequency or spike train ... diagnostic methodology due to the complexity and variability of the signal, and automation ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/11/2019)... , ... June 10, 2019 , ... ... and technology in an upcoming episode, scheduled to broadcast 4Q/2019. Check your local ... Group) and will educate viewers about how its technology facilitates laboratories to improve ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... BETHESDA, Md. and ROANOKE, Va. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... virtual care optimized for microlearning engagement, and Carilion Clinic, a national leader in ... leveraging the latest in virtual care. , Mytonomy recently deployed its ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 11, 2019 , ... A ... mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-EV) are able to incorporate into human CD34+ cells, modifying ... on mice, MSC-EVs also increased the cells’ ability to lodge into bone marrow. ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... 2019 , ... For many years, the primary forms of cancer treatment have ... Advances in immuno-oncology have led to the advent of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T (CAR ... receptors known as “CARs”. The CAR enables the final product to produce chemicals in ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: