Cell-related Methods and Techniques of Neuroscience
Neuroscience Research at Cell Levels
As is known to all, brain and nervous system are the most complex and the most precise structure in the human body, which play an important regulatory role in various physiological, psychological, and social activities. Owing to the rapid development of molecular biology and cell biology technology in recent years, increasing neuroscience research has been carried out to explore specific molecular mechanisms and develop efficient therapies for various neurological diseases. As the most complex biological system, the human consists of hundreds of billions of nerve cells or neurons. Neurons are connected through synapses, forming complex neural networks and neural circuits that dominate various neurological functions. Therefore, the study of neurons at a cellular level is essential and significant for deep neuroscience research.
Cellular Techniques for Neuroscience Research
Currently, a range of biological methods and techniques have been used for neuroscience research at the cellular level, which mainly includes but not limited to:
- Neural cell culture
- Neuronal electrophysiology
- Fluorescent techniques
- Lice-cell 3D imaging
- Other useful cell methods and techniques
It is challenging to culture and harvest neural cells due to the complicated separation process, harsh culture conditions, and importantly that mature neurons do not undergo cell division. But the development of cryopreservation and stem cell technology makes neural cell culture relatively easy, so that enough neural cells can be obtained for neuroscience research.
Neuronal electrophysiology, also known as the intracellular recording technique, is the determination of the neural electrical activity (especially action potential activity) by inserting a microelectrode into the neurons. It widely covers voltage and current measurement on the neuronal membrane and patch-clamp recording.
Some molecules can produce visible fluorescence in a very short time when being irradiated by the incident light in a certain wavelength. Based on this optical phenomenon, biochemistry, and microscope technology, the fluorescent technique was established, which has been widely applied for interaction analysis. Currently, fluorescence microscopy and fluorescent biomarkers have already been important techniques in neuroscience research, such as intracellular localization of neurons, neurotransmitter signal pathways, and glial ion homeostasis.
Live-cell imaging technology has made great improvements in biomedical research, especially for cell biology, neuroscience, and pharmacology. In comparison with traditional static imaging, 3D imaging techniques can provide more accurate data in the characterization and components interaction of live neural cells in real-time and non-invasive manners.
In addition to the above technologies, there are many other important methods and techniques for neuroscience research. For example, digital holographic microscopy for neuronal cell dynamics research; confocal imaging for real-time imaging of neuronal cells both in vitro and in vivo; chromaffin cells for neurological cell modeling; Ca2+ imaging for basic function studies of neurons, and so forth.
Here, we offer some detailed description and introduction to the cell methods and techniques for the neuroscience research, which mainly include:
- Cell Culture of Autonomic and Enteric Neurons
- Cell Culture of Primary Neural Cells
- Cellular Dynamics Revealed by Digital Holographic Microscopy
- Chromaffin Cells: Model Cells for Neuronal Cell Biology
- Fluorescence Microscopy in the Neurosciences
- Fluorescent Biomarkers in Neurons
- Glial Ion Homeostasis: A Fluorescence Microscopy Approach
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