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Novel Photoconductive Life Science Research Innovation Enables Rapid, Reproducible, and Non-Invasive Cellular Excitation
Date:9/19/2008

From Neurons to Beyond; Advancing the Frontiers of Life Science Research Toward Realizing Healthcare Solutions in Areas of Clinical Need Such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Autism

BOSTON, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Neurosilicon (http://www.neurosilicon.com) has announced the availability of their innovative Photoconductive Stimulation Device (PSD). The PSD allows researchers to induce rapid, non-invasive activation of excitable cells, such as neurons. This novel research innovation will enable researchers to significantly expand the depth, breadth, and complexity of experimental research approaches aimed at understanding and addressing areas of unmet healthcare need such as in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, and Autism. The PSD makes use of a property called the Photoconductive Stimulation Effect (PSE). This novel device is based on the PSE principle that states when visible light strikes silicon in combination with a specific current, a local field potential (LFP) is generated. This LFP can be harnessed to initiate depolarization in excitable cells without causing any damage to the cell. Further, the PSD induced depolarization can be applied at user-definable frequency, intensity, and duration, further extending experimental variation, design, and control. Taken together, the PSD will enable laboratory researchers and industry technicians to depolarize excitable cells in a highly targeted and readily reproducible manner significantly extending the breadth and depth of experimental protocols, as well as enabling high throughput testing, sample screening, and drug discovery.

This technology provides researchers with the means to dynamically study excitation dependent cellular responses without the requirement for a direct physical link to the cell (such as with electrodes used for patch clamping or transistor contact necessary for use with micro electrode arrays). The non-invasive, optical targeting used by the PSD allows for an extended observation period, dependent only upon the environmental support available for the cells. Further, non-invasive electrical stimulation can be done without causing damage to the cells while optical targeting enables highly controlled depolarization of only target cells. The PSD can also be used in place of pharmacological agonist stimulation, which does not allow for specific cell targeting and/or rapid repetitive depolarization, where such experimental capabilities would be desirable.

The PSD system controller is a fully contained, easy to use electronics base that readily fits into any bench-top environment. Cells for experimentation are grown on the silicon PSD substrates that fit in industry standard 24 well plates for cell culture and storage, and are then mounted onto the reusable PSD experimental chamber for live cell observation using any standard up-right microscope. Current promotion bundles including the PSD controller, experimental chambers, and cell culture substrates begin at $3,550.00.

Advancing the frontiers of excitable cell research, such as in neurons and muscle cells will serve to further our understanding of the mechanisms underlying cellular structure/function relationships. Additionally, it will enable scientists to better elucidate how these mechanisms go awry during disease states and potentially how to better address (and/or prevent) the disease state (and/or injury) following onset. Further, the diagnostic testing and drug discovery potential of the PSD will provide insights into the identification and development of new therapeutics.

About Neurosilicon

Neurosilicon develops novel brain-computing interfaces to expand the scientific understanding of the human brain and to revolutionize and improve the effectiveness of drug discovery. The company's flagship product, the Photoconductive Stimulation Device (PSD) stimulates excitable cells in a precise and controllable fashion. Neurosilicon is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of neuroscientists and engineers. Together this team has spent three years developing, testing, and optimizing their novel photoconductive stimulation technology, significantly advancing the boundaries of life science research.

For more information on the Photoconductive Stimulation Device (PSD), or to order, please visit http://www.neurosilicon.com.


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SOURCE Neurosilicon
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