The continue development of differentiation protocols to generate human neural cells in vitro, allows more accurate investigations of the functional mechanisms arising in such complex networks, and generates great expectations for new treatments in neurodegenerative diseases for which effective therapies are not yet available. The use of 3D aggregates for neuropharmacological in vitro studies has shown great potentials and the advent of human patient specific in vitro models opens new avenues in the field of drug screening and precision medicine. Moreover, Neuronal Stem Cell (NSC) transplantation has the potential to revolutionize brain disease research, but still presents limitations that hamper the use in therapeutics. It has been shown how the injection of NSCs directly into the host, leads to a random integration into the tissue, while a targeted transplant is needed in the specific area affected by degeneration. An alternative approach would be to produce an already differentiated healthy 3D tissue, that shows all the functional and morphological features suitable for transplant into the degenerated area. To this end, we optimized a fast differentiation protocol to engineer excitatory cortical neurospheres with 1:1 ratio between neurons and astrocytes. We first evaluated its morphology by imaging and then we evaluated its functionality (i.e. electrophysiological activity) with glassbased 60 and CMOS-based 4096 micro-electrode arrays (MEAs). Our preliminary results show how the generated structures are viable and functionally active throughout their development. Furthermore, CMOS-MEAs revealed network properties that did not emerge from standard MEAs. Although the obtained results are preliminary, all neurospheroids adhered to substrates and developed functionally active neuritic arborizations, suggesting their efficient use for functional drugs screening applications and for future in vivo transplantation.

PRELIMINAR ANALYSIS OF ENGINEERED FUNCTIONALLY ACTIVE HUMAN DERIVED CORTICAL NEUROSPHEROIDS FOR DRUG SCREENING AND PRECISION MEDICINE

Muzzi Lorenzo;Falappa Matteo;Di lisa Donatella;Martinoia Sergio;Frega Monica
2021

Abstract

The continue development of differentiation protocols to generate human neural cells in vitro, allows more accurate investigations of the functional mechanisms arising in such complex networks, and generates great expectations for new treatments in neurodegenerative diseases for which effective therapies are not yet available. The use of 3D aggregates for neuropharmacological in vitro studies has shown great potentials and the advent of human patient specific in vitro models opens new avenues in the field of drug screening and precision medicine. Moreover, Neuronal Stem Cell (NSC) transplantation has the potential to revolutionize brain disease research, but still presents limitations that hamper the use in therapeutics. It has been shown how the injection of NSCs directly into the host, leads to a random integration into the tissue, while a targeted transplant is needed in the specific area affected by degeneration. An alternative approach would be to produce an already differentiated healthy 3D tissue, that shows all the functional and morphological features suitable for transplant into the degenerated area. To this end, we optimized a fast differentiation protocol to engineer excitatory cortical neurospheres with 1:1 ratio between neurons and astrocytes. We first evaluated its morphology by imaging and then we evaluated its functionality (i.e. electrophysiological activity) with glassbased 60 and CMOS-based 4096 micro-electrode arrays (MEAs). Our preliminary results show how the generated structures are viable and functionally active throughout their development. Furthermore, CMOS-MEAs revealed network properties that did not emerge from standard MEAs. Although the obtained results are preliminary, all neurospheroids adhered to substrates and developed functionally active neuritic arborizations, suggesting their efficient use for functional drugs screening applications and for future in vivo transplantation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1075003
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