Utilization of Multi-Electrode Array Technology to Investigate Electrophysiological Properties within Human Cerebral Organoids
Published in Stem Cell Reports, Vol. 15, 855–868, 2020 as “Electrophysiological Maturation of Cerebral Organoids Correlates with Dynamic Morphological and Cellular Development“.
Dr. Mark Hester’s lab at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital uses the MED64 micro-electrode array (MEA) system to measure electrical activity from human cerebral brain organoids (CO) — brain-like structures which are derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). As Dr. Hester describes, “Human cerebral organoids represent a powerful in vitro tool to model human cortical development and can be utilized to gain mechanistic insight into brain disorders.” His experiments are the first documented case of MEAs being used to make a functional read-out of multiple brain regions, all recorded simultaneously. Additionally, he was able to stimulate different regions of the brain organoids and record elicited signals in neighboring regions. The data were first presented at the 2016 Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting. His lab’s findings in this ground-breaking paper highlight the use of COs as a model not only for recapitulating complex morphological features of human brain development, but also as a functional testing platform to investigate how genetic and environmental factors perturb the development and maturation of neural circuits. Further, his lab results provide an impetus to use COs as a system to screen and functionally characterize potential pharmaceutical neuromodulators and gene therapeutics that would restore proper EP function in neurodevelopmental disorders.