Matching Items (7)

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Remote Sensing and Identification of Dendrite Structures

Description

Metallically embedded dendritic structures have the potential to become a cost-effective means of conducting microwave frequency identification. They are grown quickly and contain no extra circuitry. However, their reaction to

Metallically embedded dendritic structures have the potential to become a cost-effective means of conducting microwave frequency identification. They are grown quickly and contain no extra circuitry. However, their reaction to microwave frequency signatures has been unknown. Fractals Unlimited (the thesis group) aimed to test the viability of the dendritic structures to produce unique electromagnetic signatures through the transmission and reflection of microwaves. This report will detail the work that was done by one team member throughout the last two semesters.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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mGluR5 Positive allosteric modulation as a novel therapeutic target for the cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia

Description

Patients with schizophrenia have impaired cognitive flexibility, as evidenced by behaviors of perseveration. Cognitive impairments may be due to dysregulation of glutamate and/or loss of neuronal plasticity in the medial

Patients with schizophrenia have impaired cognitive flexibility, as evidenced by behaviors of perseveration. Cognitive impairments may be due to dysregulation of glutamate and/or loss of neuronal plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The purpose of these studies was to examine the effects of mGluR5 positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) alone and in combination with the NMDAR antagonist MK-801, a pharmacological model of schizophrenia. An operant-based cognitive set-shifting task was utilized to assess cognitive flexibility, in vivo microdialysis procedures to measure extracellular glutamate levels in the mPFC, and diolistic labeling to assess the effects on dendritic spine density and morphology in the mPFC. Results revealed that chronic administration of the mGluR5 PAM CDPPB was able to significantly reduce the effects of chronically administered MK-801 on both behavioral perseveration and glutamate neurotransmission. Results also showed that CDPPB had no evidence of an effect on dendritic spine density or morphology, but the mGluR5 negative allosteric modulator fenobam caused significant increases in spine density and the frequency of occurrence of spines with smaller head diameters. Conclusions include that CDPPB is able to reverse MK-801 induced cognitive deficits as well as alterations in mPFC glutamate neurochemistry. The culmination of these studies add further support for targeting mGluR5 with PAMs as a novel mechanism to alleviate cognitive impairments in patients with schizophrenia.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Drosophila as a translational model for MECP2 gain-of-function in neurons

Description

Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) is a widely abundant, multifunctional regulator of gene expression with highest levels of expression in mature neurons. In humans, both loss- and gain-of-function mutations of

Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) is a widely abundant, multifunctional regulator of gene expression with highest levels of expression in mature neurons. In humans, both loss- and gain-of-function mutations of MECP2 cause mental retardation and motor dysfunction classified as either Rett Syndrome (RTT, loss-of-function) or MECP2 Duplication Syndrome (MDS, gain-of-function). At the cellular level, MECP2 mutations cause both synaptic and dendritic defects. Despite identification of MECP2 as a cause for RTT nearly 16 years ago, little progress has been made in identifying effective treatments. Investigating major cellular and molecular targets of MECP2 in model systems can help elucidate how mutation of this single gene leads to nervous system and behavioral defects, which can ultimately lead to novel therapeutic strategies for RTT and MDS. In the work presented here, I use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system to study specific cellular and molecular functions of MECP2 in neurons. First, I show that targeted expression of human MECP2 in Drosophila flight motoneurons causes impaired dendritic growth and flight behavioral performance. These effects are not caused by a general toxic effect of MECP2 overexpression in Drosophila neurons, but are critically dependent on the methyl-binding domain of MECP2. This study shows for the first time cellular consequences of MECP2 gain-of-function in Drosophila neurons. Second, I use RNA-Seq to identify KIBRA, a gene associated with learning and memory in humans, as a novel target of MECP2 involved in the dendritic growth phenotype. I confirm bidirectional regulation of Kibra by Mecp2 in mouse, highlighting the translational utility of the Drosophila model. Finally, I use this system to identify a novel role for the C-terminus in regulating the function of MECP in apoptosis and verify this finding in mammalian cell culture. In summary, this work has established Drosophila as a translational model to study the cellular effects of MECP2 gain-of-function in neurons, and provides insight into the function of MECP2 in dendritic growth and apoptosis.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Lateral Ag Electrodeposits in Chalcogenide Glass for Physical Unclonable Function Application

Description

Counterfeiting of goods is a widespread epidemic that is affecting the world economy. The conventional labeling techniques are proving inadequate to thwart determined counterfeiters equipped with sophisticated technologies. There is

Counterfeiting of goods is a widespread epidemic that is affecting the world economy. The conventional labeling techniques are proving inadequate to thwart determined counterfeiters equipped with sophisticated technologies. There is a growing need of a secure labeling that is easy to manufacture and analyze but extremely difficult to copy. Programmable metallization cell technology operates on a principle of controllable reduction of a metal ions to an electrodeposit in a solid electrolyte by application of bias. The nature of metallic electrodeposit is unique for each instance of growth, moreover it has a treelike, bifurcating fractal structure with high information capacity. These qualities of the electrodeposit can be exploited to use it as a physical unclonable function. The secure labels made from the electrodeposits grown in radial structure can provide enhanced authentication and protection from counterfeiting and tampering.

So far only microscale radial structures and electrodeposits have been fabricated which limits their use to labeling only high value items due to high cost associated with their fabrication and analysis. Therefore, there is a need for a simple recipe for fabrication of macroscale structure that does not need sophisticated lithography tools and cleanroom environment. Moreover, the growth kinetics and material characteristics of such macroscale electrodeposits need to be investigated. In this thesis, a recipe for fabrication of centimeter scale radial structure for growing Ag electrodeposits using simple fabrication techniques was proposed. Fractal analysis of an electrodeposit suggested information capacity of 1.27 x 1019. The kinetics of growth were investigated by electrical characterization of the full cell and only solid electrolyte at different temperatures. It was found that mass transport of ions is the rate limiting process in the growth. Materials and optical characterization techniques revealed that the subtle relief like structure and consequently distinct optical response of the electrodeposit provides an added layer of security. Thus, the enormous information capacity, ease of fabrication and simplicity of analysis make macroscale fractal electrodeposits grown in radial programmable metallization cells excellent candidates for application as physical unclonable functions.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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A Study of Dendritic Filament Growth in Tungsten Tri-oxide and Copper Electrolytes

Description

ABSTRACT

Programmable metallization cell (PMC) technology uses the mechanism of metal ion transport in solid electrolytes and electrochemical redox reactions to form metallic electrodeposits. When a positive bias is applied

ABSTRACT

Programmable metallization cell (PMC) technology uses the mechanism of metal ion transport in solid electrolytes and electrochemical redox reactions to form metallic electrodeposits. When a positive bias is applied from anode to cathode, atoms at the anode are oxidized to ions and dissolve in the solid electrolyte. They travel to the cathode under the influence of an electric field, where they are reduced to form electrodeposits. These electrodeposits are filamentary in nature and grow in different patterns. Devices that make use of the principle of filament growth have applications in memory, RF switching, and hardware security.

The solid electrolyte under investigation is tungsten trioxide with copper deposited on top. For a standard PMC, these layers are heated in a convection oven to dope the electrolyte. Once the heating process is completed, electrodes are deposited on top of the electrolyte and biased to grow the filaments. What is investigated is the rate of dendritic growth to applied field on the PMC and the composition of the electrolyte. Also investigated are modified three-terminal PMC capacitance change devices. These devices have a buried sensing electrode that senses the increasing capacitance as the filaments grow and increase the upper electrode area.

The rate of dendritic growth in the tungsten trioxide and copper electrolyte of different chemistries and applied field to the PMC devices is the important parameter. The rate of dendritic growth is related to the change of capacitance. Through sensing the change in capacitance over time the modified PMC device will function as an odometer device that can be attached to chips. The attachment of these devices to chips, help in preventing illegal recycling of old chips by marking those chips as old. This will prevent would-be attackers from inserting modified chips in systems that will enable them to by-pass any software security precautions.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Exploring developmental mechanisms and function of Drosophila motoneuron dendrites with targeted genetic manipulation of Dscam

Description

Specific dendritic morphologies are a hallmark of neuronal identity, circuit assembly, and behaviorally relevant function. Despite the importance of dendrites in brain health and disease, the functional consequences of dendritic

Specific dendritic morphologies are a hallmark of neuronal identity, circuit assembly, and behaviorally relevant function. Despite the importance of dendrites in brain health and disease, the functional consequences of dendritic shape remain largely unknown. This dissertation addresses two fundamental and interrelated aspects of dendrite neurobiology. First, by utilizing the genetic power of Drosophila melanogaster, these studies assess the developmental mechanisms underlying single neuron morphology, and subsequently investigate the functional and behavioral consequences resulting from developmental irregularity. Significant insights into the molecular mechanisms that contribute to dendrite development come from studies of Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam). While these findings have been garnered primarily from sensory neurons whose arbors innervate a two-dimensional plane, it is likely that the principles apply in three-dimensional central neurons that provide the structural substrate for synaptic input and neural circuit formation. As such, this dissertation supports the hypothesis that neuron type impacts the realization of Dscam function. In fact, in Drosophila motoneurons, Dscam serves a previously unknown cell-autonomous function in dendrite growth. Dscam manipulations produced a range of dendritic phenotypes with alteration in branch number and length. Subsequent experiments exploited the dendritic alterations produced by Dscam manipulations in order to correlate dendritic structure with the suggested function of these neurons. These data indicate that basic motoneuron function and behavior are maintained even in the absence of all adult dendrites within the same neuron. By contrast, dendrites are required for adjusting motoneuron responses to specific challenging behavioral requirements. Here, I establish a direct link between dendritic structure and neuronal function at the level of the single cell, thus defining the structural substrates necessary for conferring various aspects of functional motor output. Taken together, information gathered from these studies can inform the quest in deciphering how complex cell morphologies and networks form and are precisely linked to their function.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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A single neuron model to study the mechanisms and functions of dendritic development

Description

Dendrites are the structures of a neuron specialized to receive input signals and to provide the substrate for the formation of synaptic contacts with other cells. The goal of this

Dendrites are the structures of a neuron specialized to receive input signals and to provide the substrate for the formation of synaptic contacts with other cells. The goal of this work is to study the activity-dependent mechanisms underlying dendritic growth in a single-cell model. For this, the individually identifiable adult motoneuron, MN5, in Drosophila melanogaster was used. This dissertation presents the following results. First, the natural variability of morphological parameters of the MN5 dendritic tree in control flies is not larger than 15%, making MN5 a suitable model for quantitative morphological analysis. Second, three-dimensional topological analyses reveals that different parts of the MN5 dendritic tree innervate spatially separated areas (termed "isoneuronal tiling"). Third, genetic manipulation of the MN5 excitability reveals that both increased and decreased activity lead to dendritic overgrowth; whereas decreased excitability promoted branch elongation, increased excitability enhanced dendritic branching. Next, testing the activity-regulated transcription factor AP-1 for its role in MN5 dendritic development reveals that neural activity enhanced AP-1 transcriptional activity, and that AP-1 expression lead to opposite dendrite fates depending on its expression timing during development. Whereas overexpression of AP-1 at early stages results in loss of dendrites, AP-1 overexpression after the expression of acetylcholine receptors and the formation of all primary dendrites in MN5 causes overgrowth. Fourth, MN5 has been used to examine dendritic development resulting from the expression of the human gene MeCP2, a transcriptional regulator involved in the neurodevelopmental disease Rett syndrome. Targeted expression of full-length human MeCP2 in MN5 causes impaired dendritic growth, showing for the first time the cellular consequences of MeCP2 expression in Drosophila neurons. This dendritic phenotype requires the methyl-binding domain of MeCP2 and the chromatin remodeling protein Osa. In summary, this work has fully established MN5 as a single-neuron model to study mechanisms underlying dendrite development, maintenance and degeneration, and to test the behavioral consequences resulting from dendritic growth misregulation. Furthermore, this thesis provides quantitative description of isoneuronal tiling of a central neuron, offers novel insight into activity- and AP-1 dependent developmental plasticity, and finally, it establishes Drosophila MN5 as a model to study some specific aspects of human diseases.

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Date Created
  • 2012