Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Chair of Metabolic Biochemistry

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Micropatterning Facilitates the Long-Term Growth and Analysis of iPSC-Derived Individual Human Neurons and Neuronal Networks

Adv Healthc Mater. 2016 Aug;5(15):1894-903.

Authors/Editors: Burbulla LF
Beaumont KG
Mrksich M
Krainc D
Publication Date: 2016
Type of Publication: Journal Article

The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their application to patient-specific disease models offers new opportunities for studying the pathophysiology of neurological disorders. However, current methods for culturing iPSC-derived neuronal cells result in clustering of neurons, which precludes the analysis of individual neurons and defined neuronal networks. To address this challenge, cultures of human neurons on micropatterned surfaces are developed that promote neuronal survival over extended periods of time. This approach facilitates studies of neuronal development, cellular trafficking, and related mechanisms that require assessment of individual neurons and specific network connections. Importantly, micropatterns support the long-term stability of cultured neurons, which enables time-dependent analysis of cellular processes in living neurons. The approach described in this paper allows mechanistic studies of human neurons, both in terms of normal neuronal development and function, as well as time-dependent pathological processes, and provides a platform for testing of new therapeutics in neuropsychiatric disorders.

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