Neural Engineering

Transformative Technologies

Work Package: WP2
Programme: P4
Deliverable: Deliverable 4.1: “Design and proof-of-principle integrated MEA microfluidic experiments”

Deliverable due date: month 30

This document reports on the progress of work on Deliverable 4.1. The main task associated with the deliverable has been completed. A paper describing the device fabrication process and the drug delivery performance is currently under preparation. This information will also be incorporated in the doctoral thesis of ESR4.
In the
NETT 289146 Grant Annex, we stated in the context of Deliverable 4.1 and 4.2: “In P4, by integrating microfluidic modules with MEA technology, we will control the network’s environment, deliver pharmacological agents, monitor network activity and develop a theoretical framework”.
In accordance with stated goals, we have designed a two-layer microfluidic device enabling the seeding, growth and delivery of agonists to a neuronal micro-culture at physiological time scales. The device was manufactured using a low cost rapid prototyping technique from Poly-dimethyl Siloxane and silicone double sided transfer tape. A gas driven flow control system was used to generate drug pulses. The performance of drug delivery was measured using fluorescence time lapse with dissolved Fluorescein representing the drug molecule. The system was shown to deliver the drug at timescales comparable to those observed during phasic neuro-modulatory signalling in the brain. Visualization of the drug pulsing can be viewed
here. Neuronal micro-cultures were grown in the devices bonded to Multi-Electrode-Arrays for up to 3 weeks and subjected to pulses of Glutamate. The micro-cultures responded to the pulses with network wide firing at the aforementioned time scales.
In such a way we accomplish Deliverable 4.1 and “Design and proof-of-principle integrated MEA microfluidic experiments “.

Contributors: Nitzan Herzog, Noah Russell, Steve Coombes (UNOTT)