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
Isaac P. Clements, Daniel C. Millard, Anthony M. Nicolini, Amanda J. Preyer, Robert Grier, Andrew Heckerling, Richard A Blum, Phillip Tyler, K. Melodi McSweeney, Yi-Fan Lu, Diana Hall, and James D. Ross, "Optogenetic stimulation of multiwell MEA plates for neural and cardiac applications," Proc. SPIE 9690, Clinical and Translational Neurophotonics; Neural Imaging and Sensing; and Optogenetics and Optical Manipulation, 96902C (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 9 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213708.
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