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Micropillar‐based microfluidic device to regulate neurite networks of uniform‐sized neurospheres

Kim, Da Eun, Lee, Jong Min, Ahrberg, Christian D., Shaker, Mohammed R., Lee, Ju‐Hyun, Sun, Woong, Chung, Bong Geun
Electrophoresis 2019 v.40 no.3 pp. 419-424
electrophoresis, glass, mitosis, neural stem cells, neurites, neurodegenerative diseases, neurotoxins, peripheral nervous system, screening, therapeutics
The inability of neurons to undergo mitosis renders damage to the central or peripheral nervous system. Neural stem cell therapy could provide a path for treating the neurodegenerative diseases. However, reliable and simple tools for the developing and testing neural stem cell therapy are still required. Here, we show the development of a micropillar‐based microfluidic device to trap the uniform‐sized neurospheres. The neurospheres trapped within micropillar arrays were largely differentiated into neuronal cells, and their neurite networks were observed in the microfluidic device. Compared to conventional cultures on glass slides, the neurite networks generated with this method have a higher reproducibility. Furthermore, we demonstrated the effect of thapsigargin on the neurite networks in the microfluidic device, demonstrating that neural networks exposed to thapsigargin were largely diminished and disconnected from each other. Therefore, this micropillar‐based microfluidic device could be a potential tool for screening of neurotoxins.