Precise Spatial and Temporal Control of Oxygen within In Vitro Brain Slices via Microfluidic Gas Channels
Fall, Christopher P.
Eddington, David T.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
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The acute brain slice preparation is an excellent model for studying the details of how neurons and neuronal tissue respond to a variety of different physiological conditions. But open slice chambers ideal for electrophysiological and imaging access have not allowed the precise spatiotemporal control of oxygen in a way that might realistically model stroke conditions. To address this problem, we have developed a microfluidic add-on to a commercially available perfusion chamber that diffuses oxygen throughout a thin membrane and directly to the brain slice. A microchannel enables rapid and efficient control of oxygen and can be modified to allow different regions of the slice to experience different oxygen conditions. Using this novel device, we show that we can obtain a stable and homogeneous oxygen environment throughout the brain slice and rapidly alter the oxygen tension in a hippocampal slice. We also show that we can impose different oxygen tensions on different regions of the slice preparation and measure two independent responses, which is not easily obtainable with current techniques.