Combining Microfluidics, Optogenetics and Calcium Imaging to Study Neuronal Communication In Vitro

Abstract : In this paper we report the combination of microfluidics, optogenetics and calcium imaging as a cheap and convenient platform to study synaptic communication between neuronal populations in vitro. We first show that Calcium Orange indicator is compatible in vitro with a commonly used Channelrhodopsine-2 (ChR2) variant, as standard calcium imaging conditions did not alter significantly the activity of transduced cultures of rodent primary neurons. A fast, robust and scalable process for micro-chip fabrication was developed in parallel to build micro-compartmented cultures. Coupling optical fibers to each micro-compartment allowed for the independent control of ChR2 activation in the different populations without crosstalk. By analyzing the post-stimuli activity across the different populations, we finally show how this platform can be used to evaluate quantitatively the effective connectivity between connected neuronal populations.
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Renaud Renault, Nirit Sukenik, Stéphanie Descroix, Laurent Malaquin, Jean-Louis Viovy, et al.. Combining Microfluidics, Optogenetics and Calcium Imaging to Study Neuronal Communication In Vitro. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (4), pp.e0120680. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0120680⟩. ⟨hal-01227804⟩

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