*Seminar Series: QBI Neuroscience Seminar
*Location: Level 7 Auditorium
*Date: 08/05/2017
*Time: 11:00

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*Title of talk: Understanding brain circuits using nanotechnology and photonic tools
*Speaker's name: Dr Vincent Daria
*Speaker's organisation: Group Leader (Neurophotonics Group) ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, Canberra
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Talk Abstract: In this talk, I will outline the use of patterned light and nanostructured devices to understand how neurons function and form circuits. To analyse the function of single neurons, we use light not only to visualize these neurons but also to stimulate and record neuronal activity. We produce light patterns using a programmable hologram, which projects multiple foci from a single laser. Each focus can be used as a light probe to stimulate and/or record neuronal activity. To analyse the development of multiple neurons forming circuits, we artificially grow cortical neurons on nanowire scaffolds. From a fundamental perspective, we aim to investigate the structural significance of nanoscale topographies for guiding neurite outgrowth and analyze its function using light. To achieve this, we use electron microscopy to monitor neuronal growth and optically record the network activity using a calcium indicator. We show that isotropic arrangements of indium phosphide nanowires guide neurite growth and aid in forming circuits with neighboring neurons. Multiple neurons with neurites guided by the topography of the nanowire scaffolds exhibit synchronized calcium activity, implying intercellular communications via synaptic connections. Light in combination with nanostructured devices could provide new insights on the function of individual neurons as well as formation of neuronal circuits in the brain.
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*Host name: Deirdre Wilson
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*Host email: d.wilson5@uq.edu.au