Available Technology

Funnel for Localizing Biological Cell Placement and Arrangment

LLNL is developing novel technologies through its In-vitro Chip-based Human Neuronal Investigation Platform (iCHIP). iCHIP combines primary human cells, tissue engineering, and microfluidics to reproduce the body’s physiological response under an array of conditions. The integrated system is mechanically comprised of electrical stimulation and recording, nutrient and oxygen perfusion via fluidic delivery, optical analysis, and quantitative measurements of cell health and viability. This technology has the potential to dramatically reduce the time needed to establish countermeasures against biological, chemical, and radiological agents and to bring new therapies to market. Brain-on-a-chip systems hold great promise in predicting organ-level responses to new pharmaceutical drugs and unknown, potentially toxic agents. In order to achieve a system that can recapitulate the structure and function of the brain, the highly complex physical organization of the organ must be captured while still being able to record electrophysiological activity from neutrons. No group has yet demonstrated the ability to simultaneously incorporate neurons from multiple brain regions on a microelectrode array (MEA) surface without physically or chemically-modifying the substrate.
Patent Abstract: 
LLNL has developed a brain-on-a-chip system with a removable cell-seeding funnel to simultaneously localize neurons from various brain regions in an anatomically relevant manner and over specific electrode regions of a MEA. LLNL’s novel, removable cell seeding funnel uses a combination of 3D printing and microfabrication that allows neurons from select brain regions to easily be seeded into an area approximately 2 mm across, with cell populations separated by less than 100 microns.
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