Skip to main content

Opto-Electronic Neural Connectoid Model Implemented for Neurodegenerative Disease

Objective

A major challenge facing Europe is its ageing population and associated increase in diagnosed cases of neurodegenerative diseases (NDD). Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with tremor and loss of motor functions due to progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. This can lead to memory loss and dementia, which is associated with short- and long-term injuries and disabilities with emotional, financial, and social burdens for patients, families, and society. The exact causes and mechanisms underlying PD are still unknown and existing treatments focus on alleviating symptoms and increasing quality of life, but do not halt or reverse disease progression. Although animal models give unique possibilities to study physiological and behavioural mechanisms, drug development fails due to lack of translation to humans. Alternative non-animal NDD models is needed both in terms of better translation, but also to replace expensive and problematic animal experiments.
We will move disease modelling to a new level and replace animal models, by creating a new concept we call connectoids. We will develop an ex-vivo-type in vitro human opto-electronic multi-regional brain-organoid disease model in which connectoids are formed by precise spatial arrangement of brain organoids connected via hydrogel tracts that promote axonal pathfinding, functional connection, and signalling. By developing 1) light controllable sub-type specific neurons within regionalized brain organoids, and 2) electrodes and waveguides that can penetrate the organoids able to monitor neurotransmitter signalling inside and between the organoids, we will for the first time be able to sense how a particular brain region responds to a certain therapy and watch in real time how signals are transmitted to other brain regions. Our model will not only have health benefit, but will relieve a heavy economic burden on society, and open up for new possibilities for technological and economic development.

Coordinator

DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET
Net EU contribution
€ 1 233 076,25
Address
Anker Engelundsvej 1 Bygning 101 A
2800 Kgs Lyngby
Denmark

See on map

Region
Danmark Hovedstaden Københavns omegn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00

Participants (4)

LUNDS UNIVERSITET
Sweden
Net EU contribution
€ 669 990,00
Address
Paradisgatan 5c
22100 Lund

See on map

Region
Södra Sverige Sydsverige Skåne län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE MADRID
Spain
Net EU contribution
€ 678 750,00
Address
Calle Einstein 3 Ciudad Univ Cantoblanco Rectorado
28049 Madrid

See on map

Region
Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
BICO GROUP AB

Participation ended

Sweden
Net EU contribution
€ 0,00
Address
Arvid Wallgrens Backe 20
413 46 Goteborg

See on map

SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Södra Sverige Västsverige Västra Götalands län
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
CELLINK BIOPRINTING AB
Sweden
Net EU contribution
€ 410 387,50
Address
Langfilsgatan 7
412 77 Goteborg

See on map

Region
Södra Sverige Västsverige Västra Götalands län
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00