Elucidating Neurotransmission at the Nanoscale (Virtual)

Friday, December 3, 2021 - 3:20pm
Event Type: 

Mei Shen wins award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research |  Chemistry at Illinois

Dr. Mei Shen, Department of Chemistry, Neuroscience Program, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Host: Dr. Anand

Nanoscale in-vivo studies on the signaling of a broad range of neurotransmitters are essential to understand brain functions and diseases. In this talk, I will first describe our efforts in the development and creation of versatile electroanalytical liquid-liquid junction probes to enable the detection of redox-inactive transmitters. By using the liquid/liquid approach, we circumvent the challenges in the measurement of redox inactive neurotransmitters using nano-electroanalytical methods. Then I will present our studies on single neuronal cell signaling and chemical transmission at single synapses from model organism, Aplysia californica. We employed scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) for accurate positioning of our nanoprobes with nm spatial resolution. Our results show that our nanoprobes, with size as small as 15 nm in radius, can detect and quantify acetylcholine neurotransmission in real time, with nm spatial resolution, with high signal to noise ratios and in biologically-relevant fluids. The nanoelectroanalytical platform we developed is enabling a variety of new measurements on signaling dynamics across a diverse range of length scales, i.e., at single cells, at single synapses, and will create exciting opportunities in studying transmission from various neuronal models and in our understanding of neurological disorders from a distinctive perspective. Acknowledgement: I am grateful to the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and University of Illinois for the support of our research. All the work that I will present are not possible without the hardworking and dedicated efforts from Shen group members. We also appreciate our collaborator, Prof. Sweedler and his group (Stas, Xiying), for sharing with us their expertise in culturing Aplysia neurons.




Friday, Dec 3, 2021 3:10 pm | 1 hour 30 minutes | (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Event number: 2621 629 9843

Event password: Chemistry (24364787 from phones)


Join by phone

+1-312-535-8110 United States Toll (Chicago)

Access code: 262 162 99843