Organ-on-chip technologies use microfluidic devices to reproduce the function of a given organ. Initially developed by the Ingber lab, multiple laboratories have developed specific organs or multiple organs on chip:
extracted from Zheng et al., Copyright Small
Neurofluidics™ chips are microfluidic devices specially designed and fabricated for neuroscience applications. This neuro engineering technology allows fine control of fluid flow in a confined environment, thus allowing the control deposition of cells, in 2D or in 3D. The compartment can be connected by microchannels.
Several scientific publications have been published over the past decades to demonstrate the full potential of Neurofluidics™ chips.
- A microfluidic culture platform for CNS axonal injury, regeneration and transport
- Microfluidic culture platform for neuroscience research
- Micro-scale and microfluidic devices for neurobiology
- Integration of Optical Manipulation and Electrophysiological Tools to Modulate and Record Activity in Neural Networks
Network analysis is growing as an approach to model the complexity of the human brain. Sporns et al. have shown that among primate connectomes, regular and small (3, 4 or 5 nodes) structural motifs form characteristic network building blocks that, when computationally assembled, resemble real brain networks, including small-world attributes. The in vitro reproduction of highly simplified models of in vivo networks with increased complexity will help in understanding the structure-function relationship and will in fine serve as minimalist reproductions of part of the human connectome, which could then be used to create high-throughput synthetic models of neurodegenerative diseases, high-throughput assays for drug discovery when coupled with physiologically relevant cells, and to create biological neuronal computers on chip.
Using Neurofluidics™ devices, NETRI has reconstructed both, the structural and functional network in vitro.
- Motifs in Brain Networks
- Reliable neuronal logic devices from patterned hippocampal cultures
- Advances in microfluidics-based experimental methods for neuroscience research
- From 3D cell culture to organs-on-chips
- Microfluidic neurite guidance to study structure-function relationships in topologically-complex population-based neural networks