Scientists from UChicago have created a groundbreaking tool called Voltair that allows researchers to measure voltage differences between organelles. Scientists knew that there were voltage differences in the organs of the human body. However, they weren’t able to measure these. This went on for decades.
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“Scientists had noticed for a long time that charged dyes used for staining cells would get stuck in the mitochondria,” explained graduate student Anand Saminathan, the first author for the paper, which was published in Nature Nanotechnology. “But little work has been done to investigate the membrane potential of other organelles in live cells.”
The Krishnan lab at UChicago specializes in building tiny sensors to travel inside cells and report back on what’s happening, so that researchers can understand how cells work—and how they break down in disease or disorders. Previously, they have built such machines to study neurons and lysosomes, among others.
In this case, they decided to use the technique to investigate the electric activities of the organelles inside live cells.
Details over at PHYS.org.
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