COSAM » Events » 2018 » February » Physics Colloquium - Mechanics of Synaptic Vesicle Mobility in Neurons

Physics Colloquium - Mechanics of Synaptic Vesicle Mobility in Neurons
Time: Feb 06, 2018 (03:00 PM)
Location: 307 Parker Hall - Snacks in 200 Allison at 2:45pm

Dr. Michael Gramlich
Washington University in St. Louis


Synapses are the fundamental unit of information transfer in neural communication. Synapses transfer information by releasing chemicals stored in containers called vesicles. Synapses locally create, maintain, and release these vesicles. Thus, understanding the mechanics of how vesicles move during their life-cycle has been of significant interest in order to understand synaptic communication. I will present recently published results that quantify the mechanics of single vesicle mobility inside and outside the synapse, utilizing the latest fluorescence microscopy and computational analysis techniques. These results indicate that vesicles utilize specific molecules for transport, and that overall mobility slows down in response to neural activity in order to facilitate communication. Importantly, these results show that we now have a technique to directly connect single vesicle mechanics to synaptic communication, which provides a new area of experimental neuro-physics to explore.

Last updated: 02/06/2018