Progressive neurodegeneration within interconnected brain regions is a common hallmark of several CNS diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To be able to mimic the spreading of neuropathologies from brain region to brain region poses a particular challenge in CNS disease modelling. Additionally, the absence of high-capacity platforms, reflecting the complexity of progressive neuropathologies and that are suitable for intervention approaches, represent the current bottleneck in disease research and drug discovery campaigns.

To model the spreading of neuropathologies, we have developed a novel microfluidics platform which we combine with our previously established optical electrophysiology technology to create unique high throughput in vitro assays that reflect the hallmarks of the neurodegenerative disease cascade.

In this presentation, we will discuss the design concept and development of this new microfluidic assay platform including a technical validation of the platform. Furthermore, we will show how the platform can be used to model key aspects of Alzheimer´s disease associated neuropathology in primary neuronal cell cultures. We present future outlooks to apply our microfluidic assay platform for in vitro disease modelling for neuromuscular disorders, such ALS and muscular dystrophies, as well as for chronic pain research.


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Presented by:

Paul Karila, PhD, CSO & Director of chronic pain research, Cellectricon AB

Paul joined the company in 2012 as head of Cellectricon’s Discovery Services. He previously worked at AstraZeneca (AZ) where he held leadership positions at the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and later at the department of Neuroscience. At the R&D facilities, Paul led teams responsible for ion channel and GPCR profiling in LI-LO phase, mainly on analgesia targets, and most recently a target identification/target validation team focusing on native (human) tissue. Prior to joining AZ, Paul was a Postdoctoral Fellow at School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, USA, studying neurobiology using electrophysiological methods, and a Graduate student in animal physiology at University of Gothenburg, Sweden (1991- 1997).

Sebastian Illes, PhD, Director of CNS research, Cellectricon AB

Sebastian joined Cellectricon in 2018. Previously, he held a position as research project leader at the University of Gothenburg. Sebastian did his Post-Doc at the Institute for Molecular Regenerative Medicine (PMU, Salzburg, Austria) and worked as guest researcher at the Natural and Medical Science Institute, Reutlingen, Germany. He holds a diploma in biology with specialisation of neurodevelopment (Ruhr-University-Bochum, Germany) and did his PhD at the neurology department at the Heinrich-Heine University, Duesseldorf, Germany, where he, for the first time, combined pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons with microelectrode array technology in pre-clinical research. Sebastian is still affiliated to University of Gothenburg where he is conducting independent research on human iPSC-derived neuronal circuit models for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Microfluidic assay platform design concept

Learn about the development and validation of Cellectricon’s new microfluidic assay platform for functional modelling of prion-like mechanisms

Neurodegenerative disease modelling in vitro

Learn about microfluidic assays and platforms that enable phenotypic screening to identify modifiers of neurodegenerative disease associated peptide uptake and propagation through genetic and pharmacologic screens

Future outlooks

Learn about the potential for applying the microfluidic assay platform in in vitro disease modelling e.g. taking advantage of the physical separation of different cell types in the microfluidic co-culture plates
sebastian illes
director, cns research

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