Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

Measuring electrical activity of cultured human neurons

Detecting electrical activity of cultured human neurons using micro electrode arrays

The aim of this project is to develop a new integrated assay to study the morphology andfunction of human stem cell-derived neuronal cultures. The development of this assay will allows to work with patient cells and measure important characteristics of neurological disorders.

Neurological disorders, in particular dementias, are a growing socio-economic problem in our aging society. No effective treatments are available yet. Recent studies suggest that early cognitive decline in many neurodegenerative diseases is caused by changes in neuronal connectivity and disturbances in network function, implying that early diagnosis and treatment should be targeted accordingly. Cellular assays studying patient-derived human neurons with clinical value can contribute to early diagnosis and design of treatment strategies. 

The primary aim of the consortium partners is to implement the integrated measurement of physiological and morphological features from human (skin cell)-derived neurons in a high content screening setting to get a complete perspective on neuronal function in health and disease. Simultaneous measurement of cell biological parameters (HCS, cellomics, existing) and physiological characteristics of neurons in high content mode in vitro has never been performed. 

New technology of Multichannel systems makes this approach in principle feasible. They will be performing these measurements on human neurons from familial (e.g. Alzheimer) and frontotemporal dementia patients. Their longstanding expertise with the development of HCS and stem cell biology gives them a headstart with this project.

They will deliver: a 96-well plate cell culture format screening platform for functionally assaying human neurons (multi electrode array), in subsequent connection with existing high-content microscopical screening.