Week 2: Machinery And Techniques
Last week, I discussed that I would be creating a motor disorder model for future researchers to develop pharmacotherapies with greater efficacy and bioavailability than Levodopa. I also mentioned that I would be traveling to the University of Chicago to learn how to utilize machines and electrophysiological techniques in order to conduct this experiment. In this post, I will mention what techniques I learned and my goals for my next post.
In the few days, I stayed at UChicago, I learned how to utilize the Micro Manipulator, Vibratome, and brain splice rig; moreover, I was taught how to perform the patch-clamp process.
The Micro Manipulator is used to change the x, y, and z coordinates, and will be used in this experiment to locate a living neuron when the cerebral cortex of the Zebra Finch is tainted with 4-Aminopyridine.
The Vibratome is a device that is going to be used to slice the cerebral cortex into splices.
Lastly, the brain splice rig will hold the splice into place, allowing me to inject the drug into the neuron. I will be able to see any changes in the action potentials via a program and based on the changes, I would note how significant environmental factors are in inducing Parkinson’s Disease.
Besides learning the functions of those machines, I was also taught The Patch-Clamp technique. This will allow me to study the electrophysiological properties of the action potentials and the voltage-gated potassium ion channels when the neuron is infused with the drug.
Next week, I will be watching YouTube videos on the Patch-Clamp technique to gain new knowledge, since it’s a hard process to master. Additionally, I will begin writing a research paper to note my findings and future envisions. See you then!