BI/OND has teamed up with the Eindhoven University of Technology and Luxembourg University to develop a Midbrain-on-a-Chip model to treat Parkinson’s disease, which is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder in the ageing population.
Despite intensive research, the cause of the disease is still elusive and
there is currently no disease-modifying therapy for its treatment. Therefore, it is crucial to achieving a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neuronal degeneration.
A major shortcoming toward this goal is the lack of human-specific predictive models for PD.
A promising approach is the development of human brain organoids, self-assembled from induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC), as systems to better mimic in vivo physiology.
However, maintaining these organoids alive for extended periods in standard in vitro conditions is extremely challenging.
Due to their structural complexity and large size, these three-dimensional tissue models often suffer from suboptimal oxygen and nutrition supply, which severely limits their viability.
BI/OND technology offers the unique opportunity to develop a midbrain-on-a-chip model by culturing iPSC-derived midbrain organoids in the open well-perfused chip that allows a controllable and continuous medium flow for long-term culture.
The development of a robust and long-lasting in vitro cultivation platform is expected to significantly extend the neuronal survival in the organoids, thereby effectively establishing a new disease model for dissecting the complex pathophysiological features of PD.
Funding and partners
The Mini-midbrain project has received funding from the TKI-Life Sciences & Health (LSH) through the programme ‘Health~Holland International (HHINT) Kickstarter for public-private partnerships’ (HHINT Kickstarter for PPP).
The project will run for one year and involves three partners: the Eindhoven University of Technology, the University of Luxembourg and BI/OND (BIOND Solutions BV).