New paper demonstrates formation of spontaneously active neuronal networks by stem cell derived neurons in 3D Alvetex Scaffold culture system.

A recently published paper by Smith et al demonstrates the use of the Alvetex platform to culture 3D differentiated human neural stem cells. The cells formed spontaneously active, functional neuronal networks which were not seen in an otherwise comparable 2D culture system. The 3D neural networks responded reproducibly to pharmacological treatments revealing functional glutamatergic synapses. Further imaging analysis revealed a neuronal and glial population, where markers of maturity were apparent in the former. Microrarray analysis of the cultures of the 3D and 2D neuronal cultures showed substantial differences in the gene expression profile of genes coding for neuronal function, extracellular matrix and cytoskeleton.

The authors conclude that culturing differentiated neural stem cells in Alvetex offer significant advantages over conventional 2D culture including cost savings and enhanced physiological relevance for pharmacological and toxicological assay used by neuroscientists.

Paper: Human neural stem cell-derived cultures in three-dimensional substrates form spontaneously functional neuronal networks

Imogen Smith, Vasco Silveirinha, Jason L. Stein, Luis de la Torre-Ubieta, Jonathan A. Farrimond, Elizabeth M. Williamson and Benjamin J. Whalley

Published online: 25 Feb 2015
DOI: 10.1002/term.2001