Ex-vivo brain circuits

Understand how the brain works, from the molecule to the network

3D Printing chips

Fabrication of sterilized PDMS based 3D microfluidic chips

Open innovation program

Your expertise will challenge our technolgies

Brain on a chip

Physiollogically relevant ex vivo models

The Neuro Engineering Technologies Research Institute (NETRI) creates disruptive technologies for Organs-on-Chips applications in neuroscience.

We investigate ex-vivo complex neuronal architectures that emulates human brain circuits – for understanding how neurological troubles, treatments and chemicals affect the human brain.

Brain on chips can be used to model physiologically relevant neural circuits for fundamental research or pharmacotoxicology screening.

Our missions are :

  • To design, in collaboration with public and private laboratories, new architectures for modeling ex vivo human neurological disorders such as Alzheimer, Parkinson or Huntington,
  • To rapidly prototype chips, based on relevant architectures, to study human neurological disorders,
  • To develop innovative technologies for real-time observation of the local and global activity of the neural network, in a markerless and contactless manner,
  • To disseminate our knowledge via papers and conferences and promote the use of neurofluidic chips

Our skill and know-how allow to explore broder organs-on-a-chip applications.

For further informations, please contact us.


In Europe, seven million people suffer from neurological disorders for which there are no curative treatments. The human brain is one of the most difficult scientific organ to study and understand. This complexity makes the therapeutic screening (evaluation of the performance of experimental treatments) very complex, particularly in the pre-clinical and clinical phase. The systematic failure of therapeutic agents is mainly due to the differences in complexity between animal and human experimental phases and the lack of relevant markers for such diseases. The rise of CROs in the management of pre/post-clinical and clinical studies allows the pharmaceutical industries to outsource their therapeutic trials and increase the efficiency of their development. However, the main problem remains the poverty of translationality between animal therapeutic screening (mouse, rat, rabbit, pig) to humans.

Our research

NETRI develops microfluidic devices to reproduce areas of the brain with neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases, and to measure the impact of external stimuli (therapeutic agent, biomarker , excitement …) in real time. These human physiological models in neuroscience make it possible to perform research in neuroscience, from molecular level to networks, pharmacotoxicology or personalized medicine.

Our solution

NETRI develops technologies to create human ex vivo neural circuits in healthy or pathological configuration. Our microfluidic neuro-engineering technologies enable the creation of a physiologically significant « brain-on-a-chip » coupled with real-time observation of the local and global activity of the neural network. The combination of these two technologies makes it possible to perform a temporal analysis of the functional activity of a designed neural network.

Our references

Driven by Science, we promote our research through high impact publications.

Peer-reviewed publications

  • Thibault Honegger, Moritz I. Thielen, Soheil Feizi, Neville E. Sanjana, Joel Voldman (2016) Microfluidic neurite guidance to study structure-function relationships in topologically-complex population-based neural networksScientific Reports 6p. 28384Nature Publishing Groupurldoi:10.1038/srep28384
  • Thibault Honegger, Mark A. Scott, Mehmet F. Yanik, Joel Voldman (2013) Electrokinetic confinement of axonal growth for dynamically configurable neural networksLab on a Chip 13(4)p. 589-598The Royal Society of Chemistrypubmeddoi:10.1039/c2lc41000a
  • Théo Cambier, Thibault Honegger, Valérie Vanneaux, Jean Berthier, David Peyrade, Laurent Blanchoin, Jerome Larghero, Manuel Théry (2014) Design of a 2D no-flow chamber to monitor hematopoietic stem cells.Lab on a chip 15(1)p. 77-85The Royal Society of Chemistrypubmeddoi:10.1039/c4lc00807c

Press releases

  • V. Marx, Nat. Methods 2018, 15, 863. doi:10.1038/s41592-018-0191-z
  • Thibault Honegger, La complexité du cerveau reproduite dans une puce, La Recherche, Septembre 2017


Our Technologies

NETRI developps disruptive technologies.

Current developpments allow:

  • The proper deposition of a quantity of neuronal cells (from 10 to 1 million neuron per node)
  • A fully scalable network (from 2 to 7+ nodes)
  • A connectivity controled over internode connections (length, mutliplexed or directionality)

Job offers

We are always looking for highly motivated collaborators, do not hesitate to contact us if you want to work with us at jobs@netri.fr.

Contact us