Neuroscience and Neurobiology
Our limited insight into the fundamental mechanisms underpinning neurophysiology is presently hindering the search for cures for several neurological diseases and pathophysiologies of the Nervous System (i.e. Ischemic Stroke, Epilepsia or Parkinson Disease and Peripheral Nerve Injury).
Therefore, a significant effort is needed to provide novel tools for neuroscience electrophysiological investigations and for therapeutic applications that enable real-time recording and manipulation of dynamic communication processes between neural cells
Novel tools based on organic optoelectronic devices will be engineered and developed to stimulate and to record neuron bioelectrical activity as well as to modulate cell proliferation and neurite outgrowth.
A critical issue to develop these new technologies is the in-depth understanding of the fundamental processes occurring at the bio-organic interfaces and the mutual influence between the neural systems and the electronic materials. The strategy is to use materials that neither alter physiological neural cell function or promote or reduce reactive inflammatory state (named gliosis), typically observed with inorganic implanted devices.
In this respect, the research program of OLIMPIA includes specific testing of the biocompatibility in vitro on different models of cell culture. Partners of OLIMPIA belonging to the Neuroscience field have a strong consolidated experience in the study of different in vitro cell model at academic level (CNR-ISMN, UNIBO, CMBN, IIT-NBT) as well as at industrial level (HISTOCELL).
Optimal materials will be screened by testing cell proliferation, cell differentiation, gliotic marker expression and neurite formation in in vitro nervous system model consisting of neuronal and glial established cell lines (SH-SY5Y and HOG cells) as well as in primary cell culture (rat neocortical astrocytes, dorsal root ganglion cells and hippocampal neurons).
OLIMPIA will adopt strategies to implement biocompatibility of organic materials for improved adhesion and growth of the cells on the top of biosensing devices for in vitro applications (micro and nanopatterning, and plasma treatment of the organic surface).
The best performing devices in vitro will be implemented for application in vivo.