Manufacturing 3D neural networks – EU pro-ject approved
09/13/2016

An artificial 3D network made of human neurons – this is the aim of the recently approved EU project MESO-BRAIN. The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) cooperates with four international partners to develop a neuronal network. This is based upon a cell carrier structure at the nanometer scale. Generated by 3D printing, the structure shall be populated with human stem cells. On the carrier structure they will transform into nerve cells, and thus form a structure that is similar to the cerebral cortex. The functionality of the neuronal network generated in this way shall be further interrogated by means of integrated nano electrodes and imaging techniques. By doing so, a better understanding of the growth of nerve cells and the progression of neurological diseases shall be achieved.  

Besides the LZH, the consortium involves experts from the University of Aston (United Kingdom), the consortium leader, and from Axol Bioscience Ltd. (United Kingdom), the University of Barcelona (Spain), ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences (Spain) and KITE Innovation Europe Ltd. (United Kingdom). All partners of this consortium contribute their particular expertise, thus covering the priorities stem cell research, photonics, physics, 3D nanoprinting, electro physiology, molecular biology, imaging and commercialization. 

With its Nanotechnology Department the LZH provides expertise in the field of Two-Photon-Polymerization (2PP). This method shall be used to generate the cell carrier structure. In particular it enables the creation of different specific architectures that can be populated with cells at a later stage of the process. 

The project „Custom architecturally defined 3D stem cell derived functional human neural networks for transformative progress in neuroscience and medicine“ (MESO-BRAIN) is supported by the European Union as a part of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) scheme in the Horizon2020 initiative. Starting in September 2016, the project receives a funding of 3.3 million € over a period of three years.

Press release of the Axol Bioscience Ltd. about the MESO-BRAIN project for download: Axol Release: MESO-BRAIN Initiative Receives €3.3 Million To Replicate Brain’s Neural Networks Through 3D Nanoprinting