In vitro cell cultures, disease-in-a-dish and drug discovery

From in vitro cell cultures to human iPSC-derived neurons and human-derived stem cells, explore new pathways in drug discovery and brain research


In vitro cell cultures

In vitro cell cultures grown on our high density microelectrode arrays, also known as multielectrode arrays (HD-MEAs), are used to investigate fundamental properties of brain processing, study the physiological and pathological functional activity of cultured models on primary or derived cell-lines, and develop drug-screening or toxicological applications that can lead to drug discovery.

The high resolution CMOS-MEA technology featured in BioCAM X can foster your R&D on neuronal networks in brain organoids, tissues and slices by enabling you to:

  • Track connectivity and electrophysiological activity in neuronal networks like a standard imaging technique, but without the use of labels. Show all videos
  • Improve the statistical significance of your network activity parameters.  See more

200 ms spiking activity of hippocampal cell cultures (22 days in vitro).

  • Combine our microelectrode-based imaging with light-based imaging. See more
  • Investigate electrically evoked neural network responses.  See more videos

100 ms electrically evoked activity of a dissociated hippocampal culture.

Bursting activity from a hippocampal culture. Top-left: representative color map of the burst activity recorded by the whole array (each pixel is a microelectrode). Bottom-left: zoom-in of the raw plot, marked with a red dot in the main plot. Right: raw data plots of a sub-selection of 256 microelectrodes among the available 4,096.

Disease-in-a-dish and drug discovery

Our high-density microelectrode array (HD-MEA) is the ideal tool in pre-clinical toxicological/pharmacological screenings to assess in vitro models of severe long term neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

A high number of electrophysiological activity recording sites facilitates the evaluation of, functional alteration caused by insulting agents, such as Aβ oligomers, and the rescue effects of neuroprotective compounds. Label-free assays offer unprecedented statistical significance and a sensitivity superior to most common cellular death assays or imaging techniques, as demonstrated in Amin et al., Sci Reports 2017.

Sensitivity of high-density microelectrode array, or multielectrode array (HD-MEA), at a low dose concentration of Aβ oligomers. Top: comparison of the functional activity maps of untreated vs. treated in vitro cell cultures over 26 hours, generated with the HD-MEA. Bottom-left: % variation of the mean firing rate measured with the HD-MEA not induced by cellular death as shown in the MTT assay (bottom-right). Interestingly the HD-MEA is sensible to low dose concentrations, whose effects are not visible on MTT assays. Adapted from Amin et al., Scientific Reports 2017. See more

An in vitro model of Alzheimer's Disease developed with a microelectrode array for evaluating rescue effects of neuro-protective compounds. Administration of memantine or saffron at different time points (left co-administered with Aβ oligomers, right after 26 hours) leads to completely different results. Adapted from Amin et al., Scientific Reports 2017. See more

Human-derived stem cells

Human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neuronal networks are the most promising tools to improve the understanding of brain disease through in vitro modeling. Our high-density microelectrode arrays, or multielectrode arrays (HD-MEAs), are the first CMOS-based devices fully validated with human-derived neurons. Spontaneous, as well as electrically-evoked, electrophysiological activity has been monitored for more than three months over different adhesion coatings. See more

Variation of the firing activity of human iPS-derived neuronal networks recorded by HD-MEA coated with different adhesion factors. Adapted from Amin et al., Front. Neurosci. 2016.

Reconstruction of the structural links (red lines) of a neuronal culture grown on an HD-MEA. Courtesy of IIT

Connectivity studies

Functional connectivity in neuronal assemblies is a hot topic for neuroscientists. Our high-density microelectrode array, also known as a multielectrode array (HD-MEA), allows the detailed study of interconnected neuronal networks.  See more

Combined with optical imaging, our HD-MEA is a powerful tool to investigate the relationship between function and structure in in vitro cell cultures. See more

Cardiac cells

Cardiac drug safety screening is a mandatory step in drug development. Our high density MEA BioCAM X platform has already been tested with cardiac tissue; parameters such as the contractile period, spike amplitude, duration and propagation velocity can be extracted to characterize toxicological effects.