Brain-on-a-chip: measuring brain activity in the lab

We are thrilled to share a remarkable achievement in brain research that aligns closely with the objectives of CONNECT.

In collaboration with Maastricht UMC+, TU Eindhoven, and LUMC, researchers have successfully measured brain activity in surgically removed brain tissue for up to six days. This breakthrough represents a significant step towards the development of advanced in vitro models for the nervous system, which is a key focus of the CONNECT project.

CONNECT aims to revolutionize our understanding of neurodegenerative disorders by developing integrated smart chips that incorporate various cell types of the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). By leveraging cutting-edge stem cell technology, nanofabrication, and tissue engineering, CONNECT seeks to create a novel platform for studying connectivity within organ systems. This innovative approach will not only advance our knowledge of the intricate connections between different parts of the nervous system but also facilitate the study of neurodegenerative diseases, drug discovery, and the development of advanced body-on-chip connectivity models.

The recent success in measuring brain activity in the laboratory using a brain biopsy-on-a-chip model greatly contributes to the overarching goals of the CONNECT project. By reducing the reliance on animal testing and providing a more accurate representation of human neural networks, this breakthrough holds great potential for the development of preclinical models and the enhancement of drug development efficacy. It paves the way for CONNECT to explore the connectivity of the nervous system and investigate neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Batten’s disease, and epilepsy within the brain-on-chip framework.

CONNECT envisions a future where the integration of advanced technologies and scientific knowledge leads to significant advancements in medicine. By establishing the feasibility and effectiveness of the CONNECT platform, particularly in the context of Parkinson’s disease, the project will drive the adoption of nervous-system-on-chip technology in both academic and industrial settings. This will facilitate the development of novel therapeutics, regenerative strategies, and ultimately improve the quality of life for patients suffering from progressive neurological disorders.

We are excited to witness the synergy between the recent breakthrough and the goals of the CONNECT project. This achievement brings us closer to a future where in vitro models offer unprecedented insights into the complexity of neurodegenerative disorders, enabling us to develop more effective treatments and advance the field of brain research.

Read the article here!