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Info. Vol.5 - No.4 (2011.12.20)
Title Functional synapse formation between compartmentalized cortical neurons cultured inside microfluidic devices
Authors Sanjeev Kumar Mahto1, Hue-sup Song2 & Seog Woo Rhee1
Institutions 1Department of Chemistry, Kongju National University, Kongju 314-701, Korea 2Division of Advanced Materials Engineering, Kongju National University, Cheonan 331-717, Korea
Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to S.W. Rhee ( jisanrhee@kongju.ac.kr)
Abstract In this work, the formation of functional synapses between compartmentalized cortical neurons cultured inside three-compartment microfluidic devices in a controlled fashion is described. The proposed device can direct axons in an isolated compartment and, thus, facilitates isolated axons forming functional synapses with dendrites of other neurons in an isolated microenvironment.
This microfluidic approach allows continuous real-time monitoring of neuronal processes and fluorescently tagged biomolecules involved in synapse formation, and provides an easy, simple, cost effective, and efficient method to develop and manipulate synapses in an isolated microenvironment without using surface patterning techniques or electrical stimulation. The results presented here suggest that this microfluidic approach could be used as an alternative method for the formation of functional synapses and their exhaustive examinations.
Keyword Microfluidics, Multicompartments, Cortical neurons, Synapse formation, Real-time monitoring
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