A Multi-Assay Recording System (MARS) for Electrophysiological Data Acquisition from Awake-Behaving Mice.

2017
Research Category: Physical and LIfe Sciences
Presenter: George Bekheet
Additional Authors: Hayden Henderson, Marilyn Minus
PI: George Bekheet, Marilyn Minus

Of the many techniques utilized within neuroscience, electrophysiology is the most practiced, offering highly valuable data. The basis of electrophysiology is the recording of currents from neurons, but the source of the readings is highly variable. For example, researchers may record currents from one cell (patch-clamp), or from an awake and mobile animal (awake-behaving). Awake-behaving electrophysiology (ABE) is a challenging task, but can be rewarding if completed successfully. It requires a surgical implant, commonly referred to as a microdrive or a headstage, that is mounted onto the rodent’s head and controls the height of several electrodes in cortical matter. There are many microdrive designs available to the scientific community, but none offer researchers the ability to collect ABE data alongside other assays or modalities, such as calcium imaging or optogenetics. The overarching concept of our design is a multi-assay recording system (MARS) that consists of a modular electrophysiology headstage. The MARS drive can be configured in different ways to provide researchers with flexibility in their study design, resulting in greater experimental utility. It has the potential to create new areas of investigation and new discoveries in the field of neuroscience.

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