Faculty Advisor

Dominko, Tanja

Faculty Advisor

Rolle, Marsha W.


The current standards for whole-brain in vivo imaging cannot provide the resolution and neuron stimulation needed to study neuronal plasticity. Current in vivo studies of neuronal dynamics are limited to animal models, due to the deleterious effects of fluorophores. Nanoparticle quantum dots (QDs) are a promising alternative to traditional fluorophores. QDs have properties that can elicit electrical activity in neurons. Scientists at the University of Nova Gorica are studying this interaction. We designed a perfusion system to deliver drugs and QDs to neuron cultures. Using this device, and calcium imaging techniques, we demonstrated that the mechanism of interaction between carboxyl-coated QDs and hippocampal neurons is localized to the synapse, producing synchronous electrical activity.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2014


Biomedical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology

Advisor Department

Biomedical Engineering

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