Dr. Phil Boden

Multi-electrode recording technique as an interface between gene disruption and therapeutic drug design.

Lectus Therapeutics Ltd, Cambridge, U.K.

Lectus Therapeutics Ltd is a SME formed in 2000. It is a private biotechnology company which designs and performs assays for CNS drug evaluation. The company has a system dedicated to multielectrode array (MEA) recording which can perform simultaneous recordings from up to 128 sites in a brain slice. Multielectrode arrays are also custom made on site. The staff have all worked in electrophysiology for more than twenty years and been able to combine knowledge of all aspects of electrophysiological recording with brain slice preparation techniques and multielectrode array system construction to produce the first topographically accurate MEA recordings from neurones within discrete regions of nuclei in acute brain slices. NeuroServe has also shown that the MEA system can be used to monitor long-term effects of drug-like compounds. Research & Development at NeuroServe is based on optimization of recording arrays through improved manufacturing and making improvements in the algorithms used for analysis of the complex data obtained to permit a better understanding of drug action. We have used the MEA system for four series of experiments.

(1) Identification and mapping of subsets of neurones in rat ventromedial hypothalamus which respond to changes in extracellular glucose. Testing of novel ligands on hypothalamic neurones.

(2) Measurement of spontaneous activity in tonotopically organised auditory cortex and changes in activity following pharmacological intervention. This work formed part of the research and development efforts at NeuroServe into tinnitus.

(3) Identification and topographical representation of a sub-population of functional 5HT-sensitive neurones in the rat dorsal raphe which are affected by the KCNQ activator retigabine. Reversal of this effect by XE-991.

(4) Long-term (24hr.) recordings from cortical slices to reveal the electrophysiological effects of long-term amyloid application.

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