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Measuring the bulk impedance of brain tissue in vitro

Theoretical and numerical models of brain activity suggest a link between seizures and electrical connectivity. We have therefore been motivated to measure electrical conductivity in brain tissue. Such measurements in vitro are difficult; it is necessary to use a conductive inorganic salt solution, artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF), to keep the tissue alive. We have attempted to provide a robust method to make such measurements. Mouse brain tissue was sliced (400 μm) using established methods. Half the slices were placed in standard ACSF; half were placed in ACSF devoid of magnesium ions. The latter case promotes seizure activity. Electrical activity was measured with a tungsten electrode at various places on the slices. Sixty-nine samples of cortex (2 mm × 2 mm) were cut with a razor. Their areas were measured with a calibrated microscope. Each sample was placed between two flat Ag/AgCl electrodes in a Perspex sandwich. Excess ACSF was removed with filter paper. The impedance was measured at 25°C from 20 Hz to 2 MHz with an Agilent E4980A four-point impedance meter in a shielded room, using a low current. Between 1 kHz and 100 kHz the conductivity was approximately 0.2 S m⁻¹; outside this range dispersion occurred. Samples prepared in the magnesium-free ACSF had a conductivity about 10% lower. The Cole-Cole model of conductivity was fitted. There were few significant differences between the parameters for the different groups measured.
Conference Contribution
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Wilson, M. T., Lin, O. D., Voss, L. J., & Jones, K. (2015). Measuring the bulk impedance of brain tissue in vitro. In Metrology Society of Australasia Conference, MSA Conference, Queenstown, New Zealand, October 14-16, 2015
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