Kirill Chesnov L&S Sciences
Calcium-Dependent Neuronal Activity Visualisation via a Bioluminescent Reporter
My project aims to develop an improved method for reporting calcium influx in vitro and in vivo. Bioluminescent calcium sensing is aimed at allowing researchers to accurately and quantitatively observe neuronal activity. Compared to conventional fluorescent calcium sensing, bioluminescent calcium sensing does not produce any noise in the data, does not have crosstalk with opsins, and can be used in a lensless imaging system. This project uses a new combination of recently developed synthetic proteins in-vitro to assess the potential for in-vivo experiments. Specifically, I will culture neurons, express in them the bioluminescent protein complex, and quantify the levels of bioluminescence under varying conditions as the first step. Further on, I plan to express bioluminescent protein in-vivo and, using a lensless imaging system, verify the feasibility of this approach for ameliorating calcium sensing in-vivo. The method itself would be the major valuable product derived from this project, because any improvement in calcium sensing is crucial for advancement for the field of neurobiology as a whole.