Innovative hydrogels for “minibrain-on-chip ” development to study Alzeimer’s disease

Published : 14 March 2021

Organ-on-chip approaches tackle the limitations of two-dimensional (2D) classic cellular cultures and animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. DRF/JACOB/SEPIA has developed “mini brains”, i.e. 3D cerebral organoids generated from iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells), presently cultivated using Matrigel, a commercial matrix derived from mouse tumor. The objective of the PhD thesis will be to investigate new 3D culture scaffolds, based on hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels presenting tunable stiffness and electrical conductivity, developed at DRT/LETI/DTBS. The cell-loaded hydrogels will additionally be formulated as bioinks for advanced printing technologies (extrusion combined with UV/visible photo-crosslinking). The expected outcome of the PhD is an improved “mini brain” model to study the development of neurodegenerative diseases, which could be applied to therapeutic strategies.

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