Generation of Physiological 3D in vitro Brain Cultures using Bioinspired Matrix for Disease Modeling


Project Summary:
The goal of this research is to create an in vitro brain model with native brain extracellular matrix (ECM) as an inductive template for differentiation and complete maturation of human induced neural stem cells (hiNSCs) into functional neurons and healthy astrocytes. Furthermore, the focus is to use the generated model for studying the role of microenvironmental cues on patient-derived brain tumor growth. It is hypothesized that the brain ECM contain cues which will promote differentiation of hiNSCs and regulate the progression of aggressive brain tumors. Delineating the basis for the divergence of cell responses within brain ECMs from different developmental stages will have implications for generating 3D in vitro brain disease models with more complete maturation of patient-derived iNSCs and for unraveling the interactions of brain tumor cells with their microenvironment.