Sampling the Cellular Environment

While capillary separations, mass spectrometry, NMR and other techniques offer unprecedented chemical information content, the success of the measurement depends on the methods used to sample the materials.  We are developing a range of approaches to measure the environment around a neuron and even neuronal subcompartments, as well as to control this environment. These engineered structures allow mass limited sampling in a variety of contexts ranging from measuring the peptides released from a brain slice at a specific time of day to encouraging two neurons to connect within a microfluidic device and measuring the extracellular media after a specific stimulation.  In addition, aspects of this research are aimed at enhancing our fundamental understanding of fluid flow and operation of such nanofluidic/microfluidic devices.