Fast-Scan Cyclic Voltammetry (FSCV)
An electrochemical technique designed to sample fluctuations in the neurotransmitter dopamine with subsecond (10Hz) temporal resolution. FSCV is performed at carbon fiber electrodes delivered acutely using a micromanipulator (image at left) fabricated at UIC's machine shop. Contact Eric Schmidt at the UIC Research Resource Center (http://www.rrc.uic.edu) and see Fortin et al. 2015, Current Protocols in Neuroscience for details. FSCV hardware is constructed by Dr. Scott Ng-Evans, University of Washington Electronics and Materials Engineering Shop (http://staff.washington.edu/ngevans/).
Multi-unit, single wire electrophysiology
An electrophysiological technique designed to sample the firing rate of individual neurons using multi-wire electrodes purchased from MicroProbes, Inc. (pictured at left; www.microprobes.com). Typically, the lab focuses on measurements in the nucleus accumbens but we have also targeted prefrontal cortical regions. We use hardware and software developed by Plexon, Inc. (www.plexon.com).
Opto- and chemogenetic modulation of dopamine signaling
Using transgenic rats that express Cre recombinase under the control of the tyrosine hydroxylase promotor, we inject viruses to selectively express light-sensitive and chemical sensitive receptors in midbrain dopamine neurons. Transgenic rats were generously made available by Drs. Ilana Witten and Karl Deisseroth and viruses are purchsed through the University of North Carolina Vector Core (http://www.med.unc.edu/genetherapy/vectorcore). The image at left shows tyrosine hydroxylase positive cells expressing enhanced yellow fluorescent protein. Photo provided by callaborator Dr. Robert Wheeler (Marquette University).
Classical and instrumental conditioning
All behavioral tasks employ behavioral chambers and peripherals (e.g. cue lights, speakers, levers) from Med-Associates, Inc. (www.med-associates.com).
Calibrating carbon fiber electrodes
In collaboration with Dr. David Eddington (UIC) and collegaues, we have developed a flow cell apparatus to calibrate FSCV electrodes that makes use of laminar flow. The unit is cost-effective and has no electronic switches thereby decreasing the introduction of noise. See Sinkala et al. 2012 for details and contact Eric Schmidt at the UIC Research Resource Center to inquire about purchasing.