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Novel in vitro platform for high-throughput electrophysiological monitoring, analysis and drug screening

Technology Overview

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.

Technology Features & Specifications

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.

Potential Applications

  • Cell profiling, viability and therapy
  • Stem cell research and differentiation with patient-specific models
  • Brain slice recording and stimulation
  • Drug discovery, development and screening
  • Neurogenesis development
  • Safety and toxicity profiling
  • Disease modeling, e.g. ALS, Parkinson, Alzheimer, Autism and cardiac disorders
  • Functional characterization of retinal cells
  • Medical diagnostics

Market Trends and Opportunities

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.

Customer Benefits

 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: 

  • Scalable and continuous electrophysiological recordings that is pivotal, but not yet available for the markets
  • Sterile environment that ensures replicable cell characteristics that are key for reliable analytics
  • Acquisition of both spikes, compound potential and neurochemical signal
  • Real-time data capture, processing and visualization supported by mathematical algorithms, which provide instant answers to the customers eliminating the current burden of manual data analysis

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