7 - 11 April 2024
Strasbourg, France
Conference 13006 > Paper 13006-80
Paper 13006-80

Exploring the impact of nanostructured substrates on rat cortical astrocyte morphology with quantitative phase imaging

On demand | Presented live 9 April 2024

Abstract

Astrocytes, essential components of the central nervous system (CNS), perform diverse functions such as providing structural support, maintaining ion homeostasis, forming a glial scar after injury, contributing to the blood-brain barrier, and providing neuroprotection, tasks that are critical to proper CNS function. Astrocytes comprise of the soma with radially arranged extendable processes. They display distinctive morphological characteristics to perform their specific functions successfully. Abnormalities in astrocyte morphology have been linked to various neurological disorders. Despite their acknowledged significance, our comprehension of astrocytes remains incomplete, particularly regarding their intricate morphology. In the past, astrocytes were visualized using fluorescence microscopy. Using dye has several disadvantages, including increased chances of photobleaching, perturbations to the system, and not allowing continuous monitoring. This greatly limits the amount of morphological information that can be extracted. To address these challenges, we utilized quantitative phase imaging (QPI), a label-free imaging method that produces 2D and 3D refractive index profiles, allowing us to extract and quantify a plethora of morphological information. In our study, we investigated the impact of silicon nanowire (SiNW) substrates on rat cortical astrocyte morphology, aiming to understand how this substrate influences astrocyte morphology compared to traditional glass substrates. The novelty lies in utilizing QPI to image astrocytes on nanostructured substrates such as SiNW substrates. Astrocytes cultured on SiNW substrates displayed a “star-like” morphology typically found in vivo. This leads to several opportunities for future studies such as quantification of morphological features of astrocytes on SiNW substrates.

Presenter

Pooja Anantha
Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Pooja Anantha is a fourth year PhD student in the Barman Lab at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Her research focuses on utilizing quantitative phase imaging and Raman spectroscopy to gain morphological and molecular insight into cellular processes. Specifically, she works with rat cortical astrocytes and neurons, exploring co-culture dynamics and effects of various conditions on their morphologies, with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of their functions. In addition, she works with human white and brown preadipocytes to understand the effects of certain conditions on adipocyte morphology, lipid formation and composition during the adipogenic differentiation process.
Presenter/Author
Pooja Anantha
Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Author
Annalisa Convertino
Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems, National Research Council of Italy (Italy)
Author
Institute for Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity, National Research Council of Italy (Italy)
Author
Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Author
Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Author
Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)