High-Throughput Platform for On-Chip Screens Targeting Central Nervous System

Project: Research

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Neurological diseases and disorders have been one of the greatest threats to public health, affecting over one billion people worldwide. For example, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) alone affects over 110,000 patients in Hong Kong. Despite the expenditure of billions of dollars on the development of new pharmaceuticals targeting the central nervous system (CNS), there are still no therapies against many devastating neurological diseases and disorders. Hence, there is an urgent need to find better drugs for developing therapeutic intervention targeting CNS. Yet, the success rate in drug screens for neurological diseases is extremely low; limitations of existing screening technologies have seriously hindered discovery of new pharmaceuticals. The brain possesses a unique and dramatic complexity that requires a new paradigm in pharmaceutical screening: a high-throughput platform that allows parallel screening thousands of chemicals/biologics targeting the most sophisticated neural activities. In this proposed study, we aim to develop a novel neuro-electronic interface, which will permit the creation of reproducible, reliable, yet physiologically relevantin vitroneuronal network for modeling critical aspects of brain functions on a coin-sized chip embedded with microscale electrode arrays. This system will allow high-throughput detection of both molecular and electrical changes in the neuronal network in response to specific chemicals/biologics at reasonable cost. If successful, such a technology can significantly increase the chances of success in pharmaceutical drug screens for neurological diseases and disorders.


Project number9041807
Grant typeECS
Effective start/end date1/01/1311/05/16