BI/OND joins forces

BI/OND joins forces

BI/OND joins forces with the Eindhoven University of Technology and Luxembourg
University to develop a Midbrain-on-a-Chip model for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder in the ageing
population. It is characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia
nigra region of the brain. Despite intensive research, the cause of the disease is still elusive, and
there is currently no disease-modifying therapy for its treatment. Therefore, it is crucial to achieving
a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neuronal degeneration. A major shortcoming
toward this goal is the lack of human-specific predictive models for PD.
A promising approach is the development of human brain organoids, self-assembled from
induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC), as systems to better mimic in vivo physiology. However,
maintaining these organoids alive for extended periods in standard in vitro conditions is extremely
challenging. Due to their structural complexity and large size, these three-dimensional tissue models
often suffer from suboptimal oxygen and nutrition supply, which severely limits their viability.

Midbrain Organoid-on-a-Chip
BI/OND technology offers the unique opportunity to develop a midbrain-on-a-chip model, by
culturing iPSC-derived midbrain organoids in the open well-perfused chip that allows a controllable
and continuous medium flow for long-term culture. The development of a robust and long-lasting in
vitro cultivation platform is expected to significantly extend the neuronal survival in the organoids,
thereby effectively establishing a new disease model for dissecting the complex pathophysiological
features of PD.

Funding and Partners
The Mini-midbrain project has received funding from the TKI-Life Sciences & Health (LSH) through
the programme ‘Health~Holland International (HHINT) Kickstarter for public-private partnerships’
(HHINT Kickstarter for PPP). The project will run for 1 year and involves 3 partners: the Eindhoven
University of Technology, the University of Luxembourg and BI/OND (BIOND Solutions BV).