Sieving neuronal network communication

Prize: ERCProof of conceptScientific


This project will demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of the MESOTAS-SIEVE bioreactor, a novel 3D brain-on-chip microculture system. This allows the culturing and in vitro functional analysis of neuronal networks that mimic the human brain in a physiologically much more relevant way than conventional cell culture systems or animal models. Therefore, the MESOTAS-SIEVE system has great potential towards the realisation of tissue models of the brain for drug efficacy and toxicity assays. This project is based on exciting discoveries done in the ERC Starting Grant project MESOTAS (2011-2016). In MESOTAS, a bioreactor on a microelectrode array (MEA) has been developed to study the ‘natural’ behaviour of 3D neuronal networks. For this bioreactor, a neuronal cell line has been identified that uniquely survives >30 days and forms neuronal networks. To further improve function and network formation capacity, this project will integrate a micro-sieve at the bottom of the MESOTAS bioreactor to improve cell shape, function and optimal connection to the MEA electrodes for single-cell readout of activity. PoC of this MESOTAS-SIEVE bioreactor provides the basis for further development towards a commercial brain-on-a-chip platform. The first steps towards commercialization of MESOTAS-SIEVE will be performed as part of this project and initial industry contact are already in place. During the project we will establish a solid business model, including intellectual property (IP) protection, a market/competitor analysis, and an exploitation plan. Towards the end of this project the “data package” will be used to attract further financing towards commercialization.
Degree of recognitionInternational
Granting OrganisationsEuropean Research Council