Neurons Get the Beat and Keep It Going in Drumrolls

Related Images

News Image Block

Illustration of a healthy neuron in the brain. Credit: the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health

Annabelle Singer, assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, studies how the hippocampus’ neurons fire as the brain creates orientation in a video maze seen in the background. Photo: Georgia Tech / Christopher Moore

When a neuron fires a spike to a neighboring neuron, it releases chemical messengers that influence the charge balance of the receiving neuron. Credit: National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health

The patch clamp technique allows for electrical measurements of a single neuron. A tiny glass pipette, its opening only one micron wide, is sealed to the outside of the cell membrane. As ions flow across the gradient through the channels, an electrode reads the current. Graphic: Georgia Tech / Erica Endicott.

School of Mechanical Engineering associate professor Craig Forest has developed automated patch-­clamping instruments to accelerate the recording of information from neurons. In this photo, an instrument is protected by a Faraday cage. Credit: Georgia Tech / Rob Felt

Image shows the robotic equipment used to automate patch-clamping of cell cultures without the need to replace recording pipettes. (Credit: John Toon, Georgia Tech)