Neuro-optical microfluidic platform to study injury and regeneration of single axons
We describe a neuro-optical microfluidic platform for studying injury and subsequent regeneration of individual mammalian axons. This platform consists of three components integrated on an inverted microscope, which include a compartmentalized neuronal culture microfluidic device, a femtosecond laser to enable precise axotomy, and a custom built mini cell culture incubator for continuous long term observation of post injury events. We demonstrate the unique capabilities of the platform by injuring individual central and peripheral nervous system axons and monitoring the post injury sequence of events from initial degeneration to subsequent regeneration. This platform will enable study and understanding of neuronal response to injury that is currently not possible with conventional cell culture platform and tools.