Three-dimensional neural models such as spheroids and organoids hold the potential to recapitulate several aspects of the human brain at the level of gene expression, cell differentiation, network and formation, thus representing one of the most promising technology to study brain development as well as neurodegenerative disorders. Suitable for large-scale production and genetic engineering, 3D brain models represent a highly encouraging model for next-generation drug screening assays. However, the electrical functionality assessment of such 3D models and its relevance to the human brain is still at its infancy, with current techniques limited to acute electrophysiology recordings through invasive or superficial tools. In this project, through the combination of expertise from the researcher in flexible neuroelectronics and surface functionalization, and from the host in nanotechnology-based electrophysiology and iPSC organoids, the overall scientific objective of the SPHELECTRO project is to develop a Seamless Array of Flexible Electronics (SAFE) with 3D nanostructured electrodes, integrated into 3D matrix-free brain models (spheroids and organoids) during early stages of development for prolonged, routine electrophysiology recordings with cellular resolution. This original proof-of-concept would provide an exceptional tool for the neuroscience community to advance our understanding of brain development and neurological disorders, with high industrialization potential in the pharmacology field. The timeliness and high interdisciplinarity of this project, at the intersection of fast-growing research topics such as flexible electronics, nanotechnology and organoids, will greatly build up skill transfer between the host laboratory and the researcher, as well as to enable the latter to establish a unique research profile towards the perspective of becoming a group leader in the field.
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