ElectroMicrofluidic platform for high throughput parallel neuronal arrays

Heriot-Watt University

Past award

Student: Kyriakos Michail

Year Award Started: 2015

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an auto-immune disease affecting the central nervous system (CNS) with devastating physical symptoms such as the loss of speech and mobility through a loss of the insulating myelin layer of CNS axons. Scotland has one of the highest rates of MS in the world and despite the intensive research effort in better understanding the disease process and its surprising periods of remission, the search for effective drug treatments, as well as the understanding of the disease itself, are hampered by the lack of pertinent disease models. In order to accelerate the development of MS models and pre-clinical drug development, we will develop a drug screening platform specifically for this application using human CNS cells and innovative bioengineering. This platform will create structured arrays of myelinated neurons, the building blocks of a healthy CNS, on a chip where it will be possible to control and measure neuronal activity and conduction velocity, which are critically damaged in MS and very difficult to study in situ. The project will focus on (i) the development of in-vitro biological models mimicking demyelination and remyelination and, (ii) the scaling up of the design to a high-throughput platform capable of monitoring the status of multiple chambers simultaneously.

Research area: Neurological conditions (including stroke)


Dr Euan Brown
Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering
Dr Graeme Whyte
Institute of Biological Chemistry, Bioengineering and Biophysics

Epigem Ltd