We propose to develop a microfluidic platform with integrated microelectrode array (MEA) for stimulation and recording of electrophysiological signals of self-organized 3D neuronal networks.
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) will be used to derive brain organoids on the platform (brain-on- chip approach) with controlled microenvironment in order to scrutinize the neural network activities in a simplified model system.
This bottom-up approach will be complementary to the conventional studies with a top-down approach using real brains/brain slices, which are further complex structures. Once the microfluidic/MEA system established, we will analyze the relationships between stimuli and output signals of brain organoids, and study how plasticity can emerge in such a model system.
Interestingly, the same technology will enable broader neurobiology-related investigations, such as drug testing/screening on human brain models.