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Design and application of a novel brain slice system that permits independent electrophysiological recordings from multiple slices.

Stopps, M., Allen, N., Barrett, R., Choudhury, H. I., Jarolimek, W., Johnson, M., Kuenzi, F. M., Maubach, K. A., Nagano, N. and Seabrook, G. R.

Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 132(2), 137-148 (2004).

We describe a novel brain slice system 'SliceMaster' that allows electrophysiological recordings from eight brain slices independently. The system consists of two autonomous units each supporting four modular brain slice chambers enabling high signal-to-noise ratio recordings, each chamber has one stimulation electrode, one recording electrode, a twin camera system and a solution application system. The positioning of both electrodes and cameras are controlled from a remote user console. The software both acquires and performs on-line analysis of the data. We have demonstrated utility of this system in obtaining recordings of spontaneous firing activity and evoked synaptic activity from mouse hippocampal slices, with reduced variability within and between experiments. Furthermore, we show recordings of population spikes from the perirhinal cortex, indicating applicability of this system for further brain regions. In addition, stable recordings could be maintained until recording was terminated after 3 h, permitting investigation of the induction and maintenance of synaptic plasticity. Recordings of spontaneous and synaptic activity, and effects of pharmacological and electrophysiological