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Connecting neural networks: Nervous-system-on-Chip Technology

Objective

Novel micro-engineered in vitro models have been developed to mimic key functions of human organs. These so-called organ-on-chips (OoC) recapitulate the structure and function of human organs, and are particularly important for scientific research that is underlying our knowledge base of diseases and for the pre-clinical development of novel therapeutics. However, the application of these models has its limitations as they do not mimic the complexity and functioning of complete organ systems. Connectivity between cells and the linkage between different components of organ systems is essential in studying complex conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases. These diseases form a major challenge for the scientific community and are associated with a heavy burden on society and the global healthcare systems. To effectively grasp the complexity of neurodegenerative disorders, the CONNECT consortium develops the next level in vitro model systems for the nervous system and puts it firmly on the map. The project acts at the convergence of a multitude of disciplines including nanofabrication, microfluidics, stem cell technology, tissue engineering and advanced imaging. The successful completion of this high risk-high gain project will enable for the first time to study a complete organ system and deliver a viable paradigm for future technology to study connectivity in the nervous system. The proposed work in this project offers a unique opportunity to culture individual nervous system components and connect them in a single “smart” microfluidic chip (CONNECT platform), forming an elementary three compartment model from the central nervous system (CNS) to the peripheral nervous system (PNS). As Proof-of-Principle, CONNECT will demonstrate the feasibility of this system model in Parkinson’s Disease. This provides CONNECT with novel insights, thereby paving the way for future development of therapeutic strategies.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETPROACT-2018-01
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT EINDHOVEN
Address
Groene Loper 3
5612 AE Eindhoven
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 675 000

Participants (6)

UNIVERSITE DU LUXEMBOURG
Luxembourg
EU contribution
€ 1 247 005
Address
2 Avenue De L'universite
4365 Esch-sur-alzette
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 010 307,50
Address
Firth Court Western Bank
S10 2TN Sheffield
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
AALTO KORKEAKOULUSAATIO SR
Finland
EU contribution
€ 903 680
Address
Otakaari 1
02150 Espoo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 953 125
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
ERASMUS UNIVERSITAIR MEDISCH CENTRUM ROTTERDAM
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 842 500
Address
Dr Molewaterplein 40
3015 GD Rotterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
FFUND BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 176 250
Address
Barbara Strozzilaan 101
1083 HN Amsterdam
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)