The Brain and Tissue Slice Recording Chamber maintains tissue and mossy cell viability for extended analysis by controlling humidity, temperature and oxygen levels. This is a unique competitive advantage over other recording chambers that do not provide all of these essential controls. Our recording chamber provides improved access for visualization, the ability to perform pharmacological testing or recordings and other experimental approaches while maintaining appropriate humidity, temperature and oxygen levels.
The recording chamber compartment is surrounded by a large Plexiglas container holding water that is heated. Inflow enters by tygon tubing into the compartment. Humidified air is vented over the nylon net that covers the container. Fluid level is controlled by a peristaltic pump to the tubing 400 microns above the nylon net. A cover of Plexiglas covers the area where the humidity is vented to prevent it from dissipating while providing visual access. Port access is provided for direct viewing.
- Neuropathology of brain tumors or diseases
- Small tissue research
- An increased size of the outer chamber and altering ventilation to the inner chamber which improves humidification of the tissue slices.
- An increased size in the inner chamber allows more tissues slices to be examined.
- Optimized direction, flow and pressure of culture media for precise aeration and humidity. This is obtained by adding a surround to the inner chamber to improve flow; having a ring of tubing for oxygenation in the outer chamber rather than a point source which makes humidification continuous through the outer chamber and oxygenation more consistent for tissues in the inner chamber.
- Use of a peristaltic pump or pressurized flow to the chamber allows fine control of fluid inflow.
- Reliable and easy to use temperature controls that eliminate temperature fluctuations. Adding a bubble trap decreases the disruption of flow of air bubbles by introducing heated tubing to the inflow and wrapping the tubing in the outer chamber before entry to the inner chamber.
- Grooves in the surround allow better control of outflow to the external port design that eliminates noise for more precise recordings. Additionally, a large ground wire can be placed in the inner chamber directly, that is easily changed and also reduces electrical noise.
- An improved inner cover that slides on and off to allow humidification to remain high in the inner chamber without disrupting accessibility to the tissue slice.
State of Development:
HRI seeks commercial partners with potential for large-scale applications to license this product. Specialization and/or alterations in the design are possible with the inventor.
Helen Scharfman, Ph.D.
Dr. Helen Scharfman completed her doctorial training in the Department of Pharmacology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland and her postdoctoral training in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. She was a Research Associate in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the State University of Stony Brook before starting her own laboratory at Helen Hayes Hospital and Columbia University in 1991. In 2007 she moved her laboratory to The Nathan Kline Institute of Psychiatric Research, and her primary appointment was moved to New York University Langone Medical Center, where she is Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychiatry, and Physiology & Neuroscience.
Dr. Scharfman's primary research interests include the mechanisms underlying neuronal excitability and neuronalplasticity, neuroendocrinology, and neurogenesis. The emphasis of the laboratory is to understand the basic mechanisms of normal function in order to better address dysfunction i.e. in neurological disorders and psychiatric illness. An area of long-standing interest has been hippocampus and adjacent brain regions, so there has been an emphasis on learning disorders, as well as epilepsy.
Dr. Scharfman has contributed broadly in basic and translational neuroscience. She has served on numerous Advisory Boards for national and international organizations,such as the American Epilepsy Society, the Epilepsy Foundation, Citizens United for Research on Epilepsy, Parents Against Childhood Epilepsy, and served as a reviewer for NIH, NSF, and many international funding organizations. She has been continuously R01-funded by NIH since starting her laboratory. She has served on editorial boards of Epilepsia, Epilepsy Research, and is currently on the editorial boards of Epilepsy and Behavior, Open Access Endocrinology, Frontiers Neurogenesis, Brain Structure & Function, and Epilepsy Research & Treatment, and reviews Ad hoc for over 40 neuroscience journals. She was named the NYS Department of Health Employee of the Year in 2006 for establishing a research center at Helen Hayes Hospital to promote translational research. She has published over 100 articles and edited orco-edited 5 books.
Robert D. Masiello
Robert Masiello is a Senior Laboratory Equipment Designer for Helen Hayes Hospital (HHH), a New York State rehabilitation and research facility. He is celebrating his 35 anniversary with HHH, which started during his first year of college while studying electronics, digital circuitry, and microprocessors. Mr. Masiello is affiliated with many research centers in the facility conducting research in orthopaedic engineering, gait analysis, neurology and epilepsy, and most recently the Center for Rehabilitation Technology. He plans and directs the design and development of all highly sophisticated medical and scientific instruments and devices used for conducting laboratory research, clinical evaluation and patient service delivery. He collaborates with scientists and physicians by advising on the type of custom laboratory instruments which will serve to support their research. Additionally, he plans, designs, and supervises the construction of such precision instruments, which are not commercially available, as well as performing modifications, improvements, and support of commercially available equipment to suit a specific application.
Resources are an electronic laboratory equipped with many instruments, test equipment, transducers, switches, and all other electronic components. Also, a precision machine shop to prototype or invent devices that fulfill the need when a project is requested.
Currently, Mr. Masiello is involved with The Wadsworth Center, Brain–Computer Interface, (BCI) Research and Development Program in Albany, NY with inventors and research scientist's Jonathan R. Wolpaw, Dennis J.McFarland, and Theresa M. Vaughan. He designed and developed a new type of electrode cap to collect electroencephalographic (EEG) signals from people with severe motor disabilities that enable communication and control capacities. Thus patients can focus on letters or numbers on a monitor and the interface will interpret and spell the characters they were thinking. He is also in the process of configuring a mobile BCI system that can be brought into patient homes and unfold into a ready to use system including a special mechanical arm that would suspend the monitor over their power wheelchair or bed. Both items are nearly complete and will be ready for testing this summer.
Diane L. Borghoff, B.S., M.S.
Marketing & Licensing Associate – Intellectual Property
Health Research, Inc.
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