Phone: +46 (0)31-786 9061
Visiting address: Kemigården 4 (the Chalmers area), room 4028
Project 1: My main research focus lies within capillary electrophoresis as an analysis method to study neurotransmitters, like for example dopamine and tyramine, in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The fruit fly has been shown to be a good model for understanding neuronal processes and behavior. Signal transduction pathways involved in synaptic transmission in the fly are highly conserved between Drosophila and mammals. Previously, biogenic amines from fly homogenates have been quantified following separation with micellar electrokinetic capillary chromatography (MEKC) with electrochemical detection (EC). Some biogenic amines co-elute with abundant yet unidentified electroactive species, precluding quantification of neurotransmitters of interest. These unknown species were thought to originate from the rest of the fly head, not just the brain itself. I have recently carried out separations of single hand dissected Drosophila brains ~5 nL in volume, showing that many compounds detected in the whole head are not present in the brain. I will continue to work with the hand dissected brains and also look into other ways to extract only the brain from the rest of the fly. I will further enhance the separation method and sample preparation of the single brain in order to be able to use the method later to detect changes in neurotransmitters after different fly treatment, for example expose them to alcohol.
Project 2: I will set up a system for in-vivo electrochemistry in Drosophila melanogaster. With the tools amperometry and voltammetry, I will be able to examine intact brains of living Drosophila and follow stimulated release from different regions in the brains by inserting an electrode in the brain region of interest.
Project 3: In collaboration with Ann-Sofie Cans and Lisa Simonsson at Chalmers University, I am beginning a project to use electrochemistry to monitor artificial exocytosis (liposome inside a liposome connected by a nanotube; see reference: Proc. Nat’l. Acad. Sci. USA, 100 (2003) 400-404). This system will be used to measure the rate of vesicle fusion and opening when cholesterol-modified DNA zippers are used to mimic fusion protein function in exocytosis.