To effectively grasp the complexity of neurodegenerative disorders, CONNECT (Connecting neural networks: Nervous-system-on-Chip Technology) will develop and put the next level in vitro model systems for the nervous system firmly on the map. The successful completion of this high risk-high gain project will enable for the first time to study a simple nervous system, instead of isolated tissues, delivering a viable paradigm for future technology to study connectivity in organ system. The project will provide a strong and innovative basis for the next generation in vitro full organ system and disease models, reduce the need for pre-clinical animal studies, and increase the efficacy of drug development. The successful completion of this project will not only significantly improve our understanding of the connectivity between different parts of the nervous systems, it will also pave the way for studying neurodegenerative disease, drug discovery and eventually to more advanced smart body-on-chip connectivity models.
- CONNECT will bring the different cell types of the CNS and PNS on a single integrated smart chip using state-of-the-art stem cell technology, nanofabrication and tissue engineering.
- CONNECT displays a novel and radical long-term vision of a science- and technology-enabled future in medicine that is far beyond the state-of-the-art.
Progressive neurological disorders such as Parkinson disease poses detrimental debilitating effects to patients. However, the lack of valid preclinical models has been hampering medical progress for the last decades. CONNECT explores and consolidates a new technological direction in order to put the use of NoC technology in neurodegenerative diseases firmly on the map, both in an academic and industry setting, as a viable future technology for the development of novel therapeutics and regenerative strategies. By demonstrating the CONNECT platform’s feasibility in a Parkinson disease model, CONNECT will pave the way for investigating connectivity for Body-on-chip technology in other neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer disease, Batten’s disease, epilepsy).