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Food for thought: monitoring the effects of drugs and diet on neuronal glutamate release using nanoelectrodes

Descrizione del progetto

Sbloccare i meccanismi alla base delle malattie cerebrali gravi

Il glutammato è uno dei principali neurotrasmettitori presenti nel cervello, un amminoacido strettamente legato alla formazione della memoria associato anche a gravi malattie neurologiche come quelle di Alzheimer e di Parkinson, il che rende di vitale importanza monitorarne i livelli in modo dettagliato. Il progetto F4TGLUT, finanziato dall’UE, si propone di sviluppare un rivoluzionario metodo altamente sensibile per monitorare la concentrazione di glutammato a livello cellulare nel cervello umano. L’obiettivo è quello di contribuire a spiegare i meccanismi alla base di gravi malattie cerebrali e di condizioni patologiche mentali diffuse che colpiscono persone in tutto il mondo. Il progetto dovrebbe gettare nuova luce sulla neurotrasmissione del glutammato e sulle modalità con cui i farmaci e la dieta possono ripercuotersi su di essa.

Obiettivo

Glutamate is the primary activating neurotransmitter in the brain. It modulates synaptic plasticity of neurons, which underlies memory formation. However, it also plays a fundamental role in pathological processes, such as those related to Alzheimer’s disease. This essential role and future development of therapeutic agents urge the development of a highly-sensitive analytical method for determining glutamate levels at a cellular level. In this project I will create a miniaturized, in vitro system that will allow this. To develop it, my expertise in microfluidics and pharmacy will be supplemented by the host’s extensive experience with cell analysis and nanoelectrodes.

When glutamate-type neurons in the brain are innervated, glutamate release into the synapse between adjacent neurons occurs. This triggers chemical signal transmission. Nanoelectrodes are uniquely equipped to monitor this neurotransmitter release with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. The combination with microfluidics will allow control of fluids and experiments at the nanoliter scale. Furthermore, through precisely fabricated microstructures, guidance of cell growth and precise placement of the nanoelectrodes in the device will be achieved.

Glutamate modulates synaptic plasticity, a phenomenon understood to underlie memory formation. Furthermore, dietary compounds and drugs can influence glutamate neurotransmission. The proposed system enables selective exposure of individual neurons cultured in the microfluidic device to such compounds. Using the integrated nanoelectrodes, direct monitoring of their effects on chemical signaling between cells will be possible. The results will significantly contribute to our understanding of glutamate neurotransmission, and how drugs and diet can influence it. Additionally, the system combines cell culture, selective exposure and analyses at the cellular level using sensors and imaging, making it an ideal platform for future drug development research.

Coordinatore

GOETEBORGS UNIVERSITET
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 191 852,16
Indirizzo
VASAPARKEN
405 30 Goeteborg
Svezia

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Regione
Södra Sverige Västsverige Västra Götalands län
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 191 852,16