Micropipettes To Specific Neurons Helps Robot To Study Brain.

In Brain Circuitry, Brain General Structure and Function, Brain Science, Brain Technology, Creativity and Innovation by Brainy Days Ahead

Micropipettes are tiny measuring devices that can be guided by a robot and computer program designed by a team of scientists at Imperial College London to  record electrical currents in specific neurons in the brains of mice. Scientists are seeking to know the brain as a whole organ, but to do that they must understand how neurons work and communicate with each other. Neurons are themselves complex structures that use electrical and molecular signals to send information to neighboring neurons. And they act differently depending on whether they are healthy and fully functional. Researchers need an effective way to “eavesdrop” on these cells and how they communicate with their neighbors. Now these scientists have taught robots to ‘see’ the neuron better and on a much larger scale, which should speed up learning about the brain. Before this innovation, the conventional method involved scientists tagging a specific neuron with flourescent protein or dye. In this research, they guide a robotic arm to the neuron by sending electrical pulses into the brain via a pipettee filled with electrically conductive fluid. The pulses diffuse into the brain until the micropipette nears a neuron, which creates a block in electrical signal that tells the human or robot operator when to stop moving the micropipette.  The new method means that research can be performed on a much larger scale and accelerate learning about the brain and its disorders.