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High quality electrophysiology facilities – MultiPark and Lund SCC join forces

One of the Electrophysiology Core Facilities' rigs in use during an experiment. Photo.
One of the Electrophysiology Core Facilities' rigs in use during an experiment. Photo credit: Johan Persson.

This year Lund Stem Cell Center and MultiPark, two strategic research areas based at Lund University, are happy to launch a new joint technical platform in an effort to ensure easy access to high quality core electrophysiology techniques and expert knowledge for investigating cells and tissues that exhibit electrical properties.

In 2009, the Swedish government decided to invest in strategic research areas (SRAs), as part of creating world-leading research. Lund University has 11 SRAs, this includes StemTherapy which encompasses Lund Stem Cell Center, and MultiPark. Due to their interdisciplinary nature, there is often close collaboration between these two research environments. The latest collaboration will see the two SRAs merge their electrophysiology capabilities into one comprehensive Electrophysiology Core Facility offering high-quality, standard and tailored electrophysiological services.

Dr. Natalia Avaliani, Research Engineer and Facility Manager, explained that “recently there has been higher need for our services. There are more and more research groups who acknowledge the need of electrophysiology and functional readouts of what is happening within a population of cells, instead of just a snapshot on the molecular level.”

Each facility is quite well equipped, though they have some differences they cover each other’s gaps really well and have the added benefit of being able to accommodate more research projects,” concluded Natalia.

For nearly a decade, the Electrophysiology Core Facility has existed as part of the Lund Stem Cell Center. In the beginning it consisted of just two employees, the facility director and a manager who also doubled as a research engineer, and one rig. 

Natalia Avaliani next to the microscope. Photo.
Natalia Avaliani at the helm of the Electrophysiology Core Facility's rig.

Since that time those involved in the running of the facility have grown in numbers, and now with the addition of the new electrophysiology set-up located in BMC F9, there is also a management group in place, bridging across Lund Stem Cell Center and MultiPark.

Included in this group are, Professor Zaal Kokaia, Principal Investigator at the Lund Stem Cell Center and the Director of the Electrophysiology Facility, Principal Investigator Danielle Ottosson, a researcher in both SRAs and co-director of the facility and Professor Angela Cenci Nilsson the Coordinator of MultiPark.

This move to join forces will mean an expansion of the Electrophysiology Core Facility and its services, allowing for an additional research engineer, recruited by MultiPark, Dr. Apostolos Mikroulis, to come onboard. The services previously provided which are ideal for in vitro generated and expanded cell lines and cultures will remain. The main set-up will continue to be fully equipped to provide electrophysiology recordings as well as live imaging and optical manipulation of cells (e.g. optogenetics and calcium imaging). Thanks to the second rig’s two-photon microscope, supported by MultiPark, additional services with more advanced imaging will also be made available. This set up will be more suitable for in-situ or in-tissue analysis and can allow, for example, the imaging of dendrites and their sprouting, in combination with classical slice electrophysiology. These services are available to all interested researchers at Lund University, although priority at this point is given to the members of the two SRAs.

Natalia Avaliani. Photo.

Natalia Avaliani, PhD
Facility Manager at B10

natalia [dot] avaliani [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se
Phone: +46 46 2220515
Mobile: +45 31212235

Apostolos Mikroulis. Photo.

Apostolos Mikroulis, PhD
Research engineer at F09

apostolos [dot] mikroulis [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se
Phone +46 (0)4 62 22 36 19