Specimen Preservation Chamber and Method
The present invention describes a device and method for preserving tissue samples such as brain tissue.
The device consists of two independent components: a bubbling chamber that consists of a specialized glass chamber to hold an artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) and a gas dispersion tube affixed permanently to the glass chamber, to provide a fixed source of 95% 0 2 and 5% C02 for bubbling the aCSF. The second component is a compartmentalized polycarbonate holding platform with a polypropylene screen mesh that houses the tissue samples within the bubbling chamber to support the slices during incubation and retention. The gas introduced into the aCSF circulates within the container, however, the tissue samples are not directly exposed to the gas bubbles as the fine mesh excludes the bubbles from the chambers housing the tissue samples.
Many laboratories use acute brain slices for physiological research and these samples are particularly useful for neurophysiological research directed toward understanding human diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and epilepsy. Such work relies on the health/viability of cut slices of brain tissue to gather crucial physiological and pharmacological data using electrophysiological techniques. However, the preservation of brain tissue samples has proven to be particularly difficult owing to the ephemeral nature of the tissue. The present invention provides a simple and cost-effective device and method which can prolong the viability of tissue samples such as brain tissue samples for as long as 6-8 hrs after sectioning. The invention described represents a significant improvement over similar commercially and non-commercially available devices both in terms of the ease of use and, more importantly, in lengthening the time during which the cut slices stay viable for electrophysiology.