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Miccio L.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Paturzo M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Finizio A.,CNR Institute of Cybernetics Eduardo Caianiello | Ferraro P.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Optics Express | Year: 2010

A new method for direct patterning of Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microstructures is developed by taking advantage of photorefractive effect in a functionalized substrate. Here we show that when a x-cut Iron doped Lithium Niobáte (LN) crystal is exposed to appropriate structured laser light, a charge density pattern builds-up in the crystal and a space charge field arise that is able to induce self-patterning of the PDMS liquid film deposited on its surface via the dielectrophoretic effects. Proper heating treatment allows to achieve polymeric linking process creating a solid and stable PDMS microstructures. The self-patterned structures replicate the illuminating light pattern. We show that ID and 2D patterning of PDMS gratings can be achieved. This new soft-lithographic approach can pave the way for realizing PDMS micro-structures with high degree of flexibility that avoids the need of moulds fabrication. ©2010 Optical Society of America.

Pierobon P.,CNR Institute of Cybernetics Eduardo Caianiello
International Journal of Developmental Biology | Year: 2012

Cnidarians lack well developed organs, but they have evolved the molecular and cellular components needed to assemble a nervous system. The apparent 'simplicity' of the cnidarian nervous net does not occur at the cellular level, but rather in the organisation of conducting systems. Cnidarian neurons are in fact electrically excitable, show the typical extended morphology and are connected by chemical synapses or gap junctions. They have been regarded as peptidergic, given the wealth of neuropeptides generally distributed along neurites and in cell bodies, supporting the hypothesis of a modulatory role in neurotransmission. However, the presence of clear-cored, as well as dense-cored synaptic vesicles in cnidarian neurons suggests both fast and slow synaptic transmission mechanisms. In fact, biochemical and functional evidence indicates that classical neurotransmitters and their metabolic partners are present in cnidarian tissues, where they are involved in coordinating motility and behavior. We have identified and characterized in Hydra tissues receptors to the inhibitory and excitatory amino acid neurotransmitters, GABA, glycine and NMDA, that are similar to mammalian ionotropic receptors in terms of their biochemical and pharmacological properties. These receptors appear to regulate pacemaker activities and their physiological correlates; in the live animal, they also affect feeding behavior, namely the duration and termination of the response elicited by reduced glutathione, with opposite actions of GABA and glycine or NMDA, respectively. These results suggest that modulation of cellular signaling through ligand-gated-ion channels is an ancient characteristic in the animal kingdom, and that the pharmacological properties of these receptors have been highly conserved during evolution. © UBC Press.

Pierobon P.,CNR Institute of Cybernetics Eduardo Caianiello
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2015

In the presence of prey, or upon exposure to reduced glutathione (GSH), Hydra polyps open a mouth to ingest the captured prey and close it after feeding; at rest the mouth is not evident. In previous papers we have shown that GABA, glycine and NMDA modulate the mechanisms of mouth closure through ligand-gated-ion-channel receptors that are similar to their mammalian analogues in terms of biochemical and pharmacological properties. In order to study the regional distribution of these receptors, we have applied the GSH assay to polyps amputated at different levels of the body column. The response to 1-10 μmol l-1 GSH of polyps lacking either peduncle and foot or the entire body columns (heads) was not different from control, whole animals. In the presence of GABA or muscimol, duration of the response was significantly decreased in heads; the decrease was suppressed by the GABA antagonists gabazine and bicuculline. By contrast, in animals lacking peduncle and foot, duration of the response did not vary upon GABA administration. Conversely, in the presence of glycine, duration of the response in heads preparations was similar to control, whereas in footless polyps, it was significantly reduced. The decrease was mimicked by the glycine agonists taurine and β-alanine, and counteracted by strychnine. These results suggest a regional distribution of receptors to GABA and glycine in the neuromuscular circuitry modulating the feeding behaviour. © 2015, Company of Biologists Ltd. All rights reserved.

Gregorio M.D.,CNR Institute of Cybernetics Eduardo Caianiello | Giordano M.,CNR Institute for High Performance Computing and Networking
Neurocomputing | Year: 2016

Neuronal death (apoptosis) and neurogenesis in mammal adult brains indicate that neuronal turnover could be considered as a special form of neuroplasticity mostly related to memory, cognition and neurodegenerative disorders. In this work we define an algebraic theory of apoptotic and neurogenic transformations of DRASiW-like systems, and, within the proposed formalism, we discover and discuss neuroplasticity properties of DRASiW. Therefore, the main contribution of this work is theoretical with the aim of characterizing DRASiW apoptotic and neurogenic transformations by envisioning their potentialities, rather than to propose a new neural model for future biological simulations. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

De Gregorio M.,CNR Institute of Cybernetics Eduardo Caianiello | Giordano M.,CNR Institute for High Performance Computing and Networking
IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshops | Year: 2014

In this paper a pixel-based Weightless Neural Network (WNN) method to face the problem of change detection in the field of view of a camera is proposed. The main features of the proposed method are 1) the dynamic adaptability to background change due to the WNN model adopted and 2) the introduction of pixel color histories to improve system behavior in videos characterized by (des)appearing of objects in video scene and/or sudden changes in lightning and background brightness and shape. The WNN approach is very simple and straightforward, and it gives high rank results in competition with other approaches applied to the ChangeDetection.net 2014 benchmark dataset. © 2014 IEEE.

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