Every year, millions of children undergo anesthesia for a multitude of procedures. However, studies in both animals and humans have called into question the safety of anesthesia in children, implicating anesthetics as potentially toxic to the brain in development. To date, no studies have successfully elucidated the mechanism(s) by which anesthesia may be neurotoxic. Animal studies allow investigation of such mechanisms, and neonatal piglets represent an excellent model to study these effects due to their striking developmental similarities to the human brain. This protocol adapts the use of enzyme-based microelectrode array (MEA) technology as a novel way to study the mechanism(s) of anesthesia-induced neurotoxicity (AIN). MEAs enable real-time monitoring of in vivo neurotransmitter activity and offer exceptional temporal and spatial resolution. It is hypothesized that anesthetic neurotoxicity is caused in part by glutamate dysregulation and MEAs offer a method to measure glutamate. The novel implementation of MEA technology in a piglet model presents a unique opportunity for the study of AIN.

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