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Custom architecturally defined 3D stem cell derived functional human neural networks for transformative progress in neuroscience and medicine

Objective

The development of methods to isolate and generate human stem cells along with technology to selectively differentiate them into specific cell and tissue types has excited many with the promise of the ability to study human cell function and utilise them for regeneration in disease and trauma. However, to date, attempts to develop regenerative brain and central nervous system therapies have been disappointing, with the introduced stem cell derived neurons not integrating nor signalling physiologically with endogenous cells. A major confounding issue has been that derived neurons are grown in two dimensions, which does not mimic the in vivo three dimensional interactions nor the myriad developmental cues they would receive in vivo.
We will develop functional three dimensional human stem cell derived neural networks of defined and reproducible architecture, based on that of a brain cortical module that will display in vivo connectivity and activity. The networks will be seeded on nano-scale designed femtosecond laser printed scaffolds using novel polymerisation methods that will allow electrical stimulation, simultaneous recording and light sheet imaging during development and at maturation to interrogate network function. Cells will be seeded at and will develop at specific, defined points on the network scaffold, enabling the growth of realistic and reproducible functional neuronal networks. The proposal seeks to provide fabricated reproducible scaffolds that can be produced on a large scale. These concepts are far outside what is currently pursued in the field. The development of such a technological platform will be foundational for a new era of biological and medical research based on human neural networks. Cellular neuroscience research and pharmaceutical drug discovery will be transformed and we envisage that within 15 years iPSC derived networks from individual patients will be re-implanted to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia and trauma

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2014-2015-RIA
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

ASTON UNIVERSITY
Address
Aston Triangle
B4 7ET Birmingham
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 839 016,01

Participants (6)

LZH LASERZENTRUM HANNOVER EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 520 625
Address
Hollerithallee 8
30419 Hannover
Activity type
Research Organisations
FUNDACIO INSTITUT DE CIENCIES FOTONIQUES
Spain
EU contribution
€ 558 125
Address
Avinguda Carl Friedrich Gauss 3
08860 Castelldefels
Activity type
Research Organisations
UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 484 986,25
Address
Gran Via De Les Corts Catalanes 585
08007 Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
AXOL BIOSCIENCE LTD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 711 480,74
Address
Suite 3 The Science Village Chesterford Research P
CB10 1XL Cambridge
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
KITE INNOVATION (EUROPE) LIMITED

Participation ended

United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 23 605,49
Address
3M Buckley Innovation Centre
HD1 3BD Huddersfield
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
DLM CONSULTANCY SERVICES LTD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 88 052,01
Address
3M Buckley Innovation Centre
HD1 3BD Huddersfield
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)