Research in the Physiology department combines the strengths of reductionist and holistic approaches. It encompasses studies on single cells, isolated tissues and organs, whole animals and humans. There is emphasis on the classical physiological approach of recording analog signals in real time, be it from cells, tissues, animals or humans.

Analog signals:

A well-equipped Patch-clamp laboratory is the pride of the department. MD students in Physiology routinely train in Patch-clamp techniques. Research in the patch-clamp lab involves recording of currents from rat cardiomyocytes and recording of currents and cell capacitance from bovine or ovine chondrocytes.

Studies on autonomic function in humans are being done in a Clinical Physiology laboratory where ECG and respiration are recorded with a BIOPAC data acquisition system. A state of the art Data Acquisition system built by the Biomedical engineering dept at CMC (CMC DAQ) is being used by most labs in the Physiology department for recording analog signals in real time. Most transducers and accessories that go with the CMC DAQ are also built in-house.

CMC DAQ is used for the following:

Recording of force of contraction of muscle (cardiac, skeletal or smooth) using a force-transducer
Recording of monophasic action potentials in isolated rat heart using contact electrodes
Recording of transepithelial potential difference (in open circuit conditions) and currents under voltage-clamp in isolated epithelial tissue like intestinal mucosa

In vivo recording of the following parameters in anaesthetized rats:

Arterial blood pressure with a transducer placed in the femoral or carotid artery


Respiratory movements

Translational research:

There is a well-equipped cell-culture laboratory. Current research pertains to autologous transplantation of chondrocytes, culture of stem cells derived from various sources and transformation to cells of interest. Immunocytochemical and flow cytometric techniques are employed to identify phenotype of cells in culture.

Collagen II which can be used as a scaffold for cell-culture especially of chondrocytes is being isolated from chick sterna and is available as lyophilized powder. Interested researchers may contact us for supply of collagen II.

Drug discovery:

There is a phytochemistry laboratory enabling isolation of different compounds from plant sources. While manual chromatographic techniques like partition chromatography, thin layer chromatography and column chromatography are being used currently, we expect to acquire preparatory HPLC equipment soon. Patch-clamp and tissue-based studies are employed to screen plant extracts for channel modulation.

For more information about the research in the department and faculty members please visit the following links: