RTXI (The Real-Time eXperiment Interface) is a highly versatile, open-source software system that allows researchers to proble complex biological mechanisms with new experimental methods that were impossible under previous experimental control systems. It has been developed under the direction of Weill Cornell Cardiology Professor David J. Christini since 2004.

The ability of experimentalists to explore biological systems has traditionally been limited to rigid preprogrammed protocols. In contrast, “real-time” control experiments are continually adjusted as measurements are taken. This has allowed seminal investigations in the functions of neurons and cardiac cells, among many applications. However, real-time control is not possible with standard computer software, and commercial real-time systems are costly and tailored for industrial applications. Circumventing these limitations, RTXI is open source and free, can be used with an extensive range of experimentation hardware, and can be run on Linux or Windows computers.

RTXI is an invaluable tool for many prominent scientific groups around the world. In addition to updating and maintaining RTXI for these and future users, Dr. Christini’s group is continually adding functions to RTXI to enable new experiment paradigms. RTXI is funded under NIH grant R01 EB016407 through 2017. For more information about RTXI, see www.rtxi.org.

For information about other research projects taking place in the Christini lab, visit www.christinilab.org.

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