Electrochemical Eavesdropping: Listening to a Single Cell
Recent research from the group of Professor Christy Haynes.
The Haynes group has recently used an analytical chemistry technique, carbon-fiber microelectrochemistry, to characterize chemical messenger secretion from individual blood platelets. This has never been done before even though understanding platelet communication is critical in hemostasis and many medical conditions because platelets are tiny cells (1-2 microns in diameter) and thus, technically challenging to work with. The group has quantitatively characterized the number of granules (chemical messenger packets) in each platelet, the concentration of the chemical messenger serotonin in each granule, that serotonin and histamine are co-released from each granule, and the platelets response to osmotic changes (as occurs in your blood under many physiological and pharmacological circumstances).