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.
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.
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.
Driven by Science, we promote our research through high impact publications.
- (2016) Microfluidic neurite guidance to study structure-function relationships in topologically-complex population-based neural networks, Scientific Reports 6, p. 28384, Nature Publishing Group, url, doi:10.1038/srep28384
- (2013) Electrokinetic confinement of axonal growth for dynamically configurable neural networks, Lab on a Chip 13(4), p. 589-598, The Royal Society of Chemistry, pubmed, doi:10.1039/c2lc41000a
- (2014) Design of a 2D no-flow chamber to monitor hematopoietic stem cells., Lab on a chip 15(1), p. 77-85, The Royal Society of Chemistry, pubmed, doi:10.1039/c4lc00807c
- 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