This laboratory explores the effect of gangliosides on the development of the central nervous system.
The hydrophobic portion of gangliosides resides in the plasma membrane of cells while their hydrophilic, oligosaccharide, portion is exposed to the extracellular environment. The composition of the oligosaccharide is thought to be important in intercellular interactions. These interactions, found ubiquitously but specifically in neural synapse formation and central nervous system ontogeny, have never been directly observed.
This laboratory is characterizing a microfluidic system that will expose pluripotent cells, growing on rolling microbeads, to gangliosides fixed to the surface of micro-channels. The type of ganglioside and duration of exposure will be varied to mimic natural systems.
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