Optogenetic stimulation of multiwell MEA plates for neural and cardiac applications

Clements IP, Millard DC, Nicolini AM, Preyer AJ, Grier R, Heckerling A, Blum RA, Tyler P, McSweeney KM, Lu Y,Hall D, Ross JD
Source: Other
Publication Date: (2016)
Issue: 9690: ePub
Research Area:
Basic Research
Cells used in publication:
Neuron, hippo/cortical, rat
Species: rat
Tissue Origin: brain
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPS), human
Species: human
Tissue Origin:
Microelectrode array (MEA) technology enables advanced drug screening and “disease-in-a-dish” modeling by measuring the electrical activity of cultured networks of neural or cardiac cells. Recent developments in human stem cell technologies, advancements in genetic models, and regulatory initiatives for drug screening have increased the demand for MEA-based assays. In response, Axion Biosystems previously developed a multiwell MEA platform, providing up to 96 MEA culture wells arrayed into a standard microplate format. Multiwell MEA-based assays would be further enhanced by optogenetic stimulation, which enables selective excitation and inhibition of targeted cell types. This capability for selective control over cell culture states would allow finer pacing and probing of cell networks for more reliable and complete characterization of complex network dynamics. Here we describe a system for independent optogenetic stimulation of each well of a 48-well MEA plate. The system enables finely graded control of light delivery during simultaneous recording of network activity in each well. Using human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) derived cardiomyocytes and rodent primary neuronal cultures, we demonstrate high channel-count light-based excitation and suppression in several proof-of-concept experimental models. Our findings demonstrate advantages of combining multiwell optical stimulation and MEA recording for applications including cardiac safety screening, neural toxicity assessment, and advanced characterization of complex neuronal diseases