20 Credits SPRING

Pre-requisites: BMS242, BMS243

Aims/Description: The module is based around teaching students a range of modern neuroscience techniques by trying to answer the overall question: Can the MED cells provide a replacement for primary DRG? The practical sessions are divided into two halves (i) establishing the in vivo molecular properties of DRG neurons and (ii) Can the MED cells provide a replacement for primary DRG? The practical utilises an in-house conditionally immortalised mouse dorsal root ganglion cell line (MED17.11) derived by M. Nassar and M. Holley which can differentiate easily (temperature change from 33C to 37C) into nociceptors over 7 days. Students will be taught basic cell culture using this cell line and can set up flasks of cells that can either be grown in an undifferentiated state or be differentiated into sensory neurons for use in downstream practical sessions. In addition, students will be shown how to section either (i) Frozen rat tissue (DRGs) using a cryostat or (ii) Paraffin-embedded section (again DRGs) using a microtome. Following on from the session on the basic techniques of cell culture, cryostat and microtome, two 'molecular' techniques will be taught in subsequent practicals (i) immunofluorescent staining for NF200 and peripherin and image analysis (ii) cDNA production/RT-PCR. The results from these techniques will be compared to staining results obtained from (i) paraffin-embedded and (ii) eg OCT fresh/frozen samples of mouse DRG stained for the same antibodies.

Restrictions on availability: Available only to students in BMS.

Staff Contact: GOKHALE PAUL J
Teaching Methods: Lectures, Laboratory work, Independent Study
Assessment: Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Biomedical Science):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK