This novel in vitro platform allows the automatic, simultaneous and long-term recording of the activity of neural networks growing on a large number of MEA (multi-electrode array) plates. It may be used on any cell type that shows electrical activity, including neurons and cardiomyocytes.
The system is designed for great flexibility allowing optogenetics, neurochemical sensing and the integration of various biosensors. The technology also includes an innovative, cloud-based solution to analyze the vast amount of data recorded, and to discover new information with the help of artificial intelligence.
High-throughput electrophysiological monitoring is not available in the neuro and cardio fields. Existing platforms are limited in
(i) the number of simultaneously researchable cell lines,
(ii) environment stability and control,
(iii) length of observation intervals,
(iv) data capacity, analytical effectiveness and pattern recognition.
This platform may overcome such limitations by providing extracellular electrophysiological monitoring and analysis at unparalleled scale.
Increasing population is suffering from neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer, ALS or Parkinson’s disease. The recent advancements in reprogramming basic human cells (iPSC) from both healthy and diseased donors into any desired cell type have laid the foundation for the exploration of human diseases in vitro.
Besides such modeling the application range of this technology is wide and growing. It’s already used in brain slice recordings and stimulation as well as in drug development and screening. Applications also include safety and toxicity profiling, and the observation of neural network activities; among others. Furthermore, recent publications indicate the viability of this approach in medical diagnostics.
The market size is similarly notable, for instance the neurodegenerative disease and the global cardiovascular therapeutic drugs market were estimated to be worth USD 11 and USD 126.8 billion in 2015; whilst the total biosensors market was valued at USD 15.96 billion in 2016; both expected to see a close to double-digit annual growth over the next years.
Researchers in academic, private and governmental research labs and the industry (e.g. pharmaceutical and biotech companies and contract research organisations) will enjoy the following benefits: