Neuronal Stress and Ageing (NSA)

Neural circuits are responsible for the brain’s ability to process and store information. Our team is a pioneer one in the development of neural system-on-chip to control neuronal connectivity in vitro and in the construction of living neuronal network to study neurodegenerative diseases.

These neural systems-on-chips are microscale devices that combine cell culture methods with microfabrication and microfluidics technologies to mimic the cellular microenvironment accurately. The aim of these devices is to reproduce neural tissue- and brain-level functions accurately by developing only the most basic functional units and not the entire organ. Our goals are to establish on-chip living neural circuits of increasing complexity and precision, to establish neurodegenerative models-on-chip, explore mechanisms of neurodegeneration, and to decipher neurodegenerative pathways and define druggable targets (e.g. Casp2). Further advances in on-chip neural circuits may lead to better understanding of the brain, and may have important implication for drug discovery, such as screening drugs in a cost-effective manner and reduce animal studies.

3 main axes: 

  1. The development of microfluidic technology and methods of (co) cultures with defined architectures (e.g. Neural circuit-on-Chip) ;
  2. The role of NAD+, its precursor nicotinamide riboside (NR), and the importance of its metabolism during neuronal stresses (e.g. excitotoxicity, b-Amyloid peptide, Parkinson-like stress) ;
  3. Targeting synaptic Caspase-2 in neurodegenerative models.