Valentina Benfenati, Bologna, Italy

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Institute for Organic Sinthesys and Photoreactivity

Presenter Of 1 Presentation

Technical Workshop

Multiscale excitation and recording of astrocytes signalling and conductance by nanostructured devices


Abstract Body

The past four decades demonstrated that the expression and function of proteins forming ion channels, receptors and water channels in astrocytes are critical in brain function & dysfunction. However, most of the tools and approaches used to probe and sense astrocytes are derived from those developed to study neurons. The goal of our research is to provide insight on astrocytes physiology and biophysics by using multifunctional materials and nanotechnological approaches targeted to record and manipulate structural and functional properties of ion channels, calcium signalling and water permeability. The presentation will show the results of our recents works demonstrating that 1)the growth on nano-biomaterials induces astrocytes differentiation that is accompanied with upregulated expression at the process microdomains and increased function of K+channel Kir4.1 and Aquaporin-41; 2)the use of carbon-based and silicon based device enable the electrical stimulation of intracellular Ca2+([Ca2+]i) and the extracellular recording of transmembrane voltage oscillations in the slow frequency range in differentiated astrocytes in vitro2; 3) infrared laser pulse provide the possibility to stimulate water transport, [Ca2+]iand whole-cell conductance mediated via Transient Receptor Potential Ankirin 1 (TRPA1) and TRP Vanilloid-4 (TRPV4)3.

Acknowledgments:The work is supported by AFOSR-Biophysics Programme with the projects ASTROMAT, ASTRONIR, 3D NEUROGLIA. The speaker is grateful to all the co-authors and Co-PIs that contributed to the results presented.1Saracino E., Maiolo L., et al., Adv Biosystem, 2020, in press; Saracino, Guarino et al., J Mater Chem B 2Borrachero-Conejo et al., Adv Healt. Mater, 2020 3Borrachero-Conejo A., Adams W. et al., Faseb J, under review


Moderator Of 1 Session

Technical Workshop
Boisdale 1
11.07.2020, Saturday
Session Time
11:00 - 14:00
Session Description
The past 4 decades highlighted the importance of glia, shifting the neurocentric vision of structure, function and pathology of nervous system to a more holistic perspective. In this view, the demand of technologies targeting the selective monitoring and control of glia is emerging as a challenge across Neuroscience, Engineering and Material Science. This workshop aims to present the most promising advances in unconventional tools & methods, that enabled to reach unprecedented insights into the 4 dimensional (4D) nature of spatio-temporal neuron-glial interactions, in the healthy and pathological brain. Specifically, we will show how 1)(bio)materials as silicon nanowire, graphene or hydrogels can provide transition from 2D to 3D models, mimicking in-vivo structure, where to study healthy or reactive glial cells in vitro 2)the use of nanostructured device allows stimulation and recording of astrocytes and neurons at different spatiotemporal scale 3)computational approaches and control theory can reverse-engineer neuron-glial interactions 4)combination of opto/chemogenetics, CLARITY and two-photon imaging reveals clues on significance of astrocytic domains in memory consolidation 5)photonic and spectroscopic methods uncover the signature of microglial cells in pain. The forum, presented by scientists from 5 different countries, will provide a multidisciplinary perspective on tools, potentially enabling to extend our knowledge on cognitive functions, pain and Alzheimer diseases