Mutation to MECP2 in humans caused Rett Syndrome in which girls develop normally for around 18 months before sudden decline in cognitive, motor and social abilities. Mecp2-deficiency has various molecular, cellular and synaptic effects however the downstream consequences on microscale network function are not fully understood. In my PhD, I aim to identify network-level developmental differences between wild-type and Mecp2-deficient primary dissociated neuronal cultures (2D, mouse-derived). I take multielectrode array recordings and apply various computational modelling techniques. I compare spike detection algorithms before examining network features such as small-world coefficient (derived from graph theory) and, in future, hope to apply machine learning to test whether cultures can be classified into their genotypes according to these features.
I am also currently testing these methods in organoids as part of a collaboration with Dr Andras Lakatos’ lab.
Electrophysiological recording techniques
Micro/multi electrode arrays
Organoids (cerebral and spinal)
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