- Signal formation and integration in neural circuits with astroglia
- Organisational principles underlying synaptic structure and function
- Activity-dependent control of neurotransmitter release
- Nanomolar landscapes of basal Ca2+ in neurons and astroglia
This research contributes to the inter-disciplinary effort to address cellular mechanisms of epilepsy and other neurodegenerative diseases.
We combine two-photon excitation microscopy with patch-clamp electrophysiology and (opto)genetic tools to monitor calcium signalling in individual axonal boutons, dendritic spines and microscopic astroglial compartments in cultured cells, acute brain slices, and also in vivo.
A submillisecond-resolution solution-exchange methodology is used to probe receptor kinetics. We have developed compartmental and Monte Carlo biophysical models to examine (a) intracellular Ca2+ signalling, (b) rapid events inside and outside the synaptic cleft, (c) activity of neural networks involving astrocytes.
We have developed time-resolved fluorescence imaging methods to monitor nanomolar ion concentrations and quasi-instantaneous molecular diffusion in live cells in situ.