Finally, tadalafil the new edition of the field controller has been put to use. I have been working with J. Ziburkus to try to modulate neural activity by polarizing pyramidal neurons (in slices) with electric fields as specified in the papers by B. Gluckman (see below). The basic idea is that these neurons in the hippocampus are shaped like elongated pyramids, visit web
where most of the cells are oriented in the same direction. This means that with an applied electric field, pharm
the distribution of ions inside the cell can be changed by a function of electric field, cell morphology and orientation. Since it is commonly believed that the part of the cell that determines if an action potential is to be fired is the axon hillock, located between the axon and the cell body, changes in ion gradients in that area will make the cell more or less excitable. Because of the favorable cell orientation in this part of the hippocampus, we can cause the same change in excitation levels in many cells at the same time, and thereby study the effects of various channel altering drugs at different excitation levels.
Some relevant Gluckman papers:
A model of the effects of applied electric fields on neuronal synchronization. J Comput Neurosci. 2005 Aug;19(1):53-70.
Sensitivity of neurons to weak electric fields. J Neurosci. 2003 Aug 13;23(19):7255-61.
Adaptive electric field control of epileptic seizures. J Neurosci. 2001 Jan 15;21(2):590-600.
(If you are interested in these papers but cannot access them, email me and we can work it out.)