Human Stem Cell Derived 3D Neural Network Tissue Model


Project Summary:
This work focuses on the development and characterization of three-dimensional tissue models that promote the differentiation and long-term survival of functional neural networks. These tissue cultures show diverse cell populations including neurons and glial cells (astrocytes) interacting in 3D with spontaneous neural activity confirmed through electrophysiological recordings and calcium imaging over at least 8 months. This approach allows for the direct integration of pluripotent stem cells into the 3D construct bypassing early neural differentiation steps (embryoid bodies and neural rosettes), which streamlines the process while also providing a system that can be manipulated to support a variety of experimental applications. This tissue model has been tested in stem cells derived from healthy individuals as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease patients, with similar growth and gene expression responses indicating potential use in the modeling of disease states related to neurodegenerative diseases.