Allegheny College uses our Axon patch-clamp instruments to investigate how amyloid beta peptide block ion channels in Alzheimer's disease

Allegheny College

Lauren French PhD, Associate Professor, Biology (Chair) and Neuroscience

Lilly Appiah-Agyeman, Natalia Han, and Megan McGrath

Axoclamp™ 900A Microelectrode Amplifier

Axon Digidata 1550B Low-Noise Data Acquisition System plus HumSilencer

pCLAMP 11 Software Suite

The Challenge

Dr. Lauren French is working with undergraduate students at Allegheny College to find out how the amyloid beta peptide implicated in Alzheimer’s disease pathology inhibits a calcium-activated potassium channels. This channel interaction was reported by Yamamoto et al. (2011), and the students in her lab are investigating it using the Xenopus oocyte expression system.

Allegheny College uses Axon patch-clamp instruments

The Results

She has a number of projects in her lab involving the exogenous expression system for studying ion channels, and her lab routinely uses the Axoclamp™ 900A Amplifier and Digidata® 1440A systems to teach undergraduates patch-clamp techniques and to get them started on independent research projects. Students inject cRNA encoding ion channels into oocytes and then use the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique and pCLAMP™ Software to confirm expression and test for differences after application or injection of different compounds.

Three of Dr. French’s students, Lilly Appiah-Agyeman, Natalia Han, and Megan McGrath, have been helping her with the amyloid beta project as well as others in the lab. Dr. French says, “Inspiring the next generation of scientists is my passion, and I am always impressed at what students can do with this sophisticated and cutting-edge equipment”.

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