Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes involuntary or uncontrollable movements. The most prominent signs and symptoms of PD occur when dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia degenerate. Their degeneration leads to decreased dopamine production and abnormal aggregation of alpha-synuclein (α-Syn), a key peptide located primarily in presynaptic terminals, and strongly linked genetically and pathologically to PD. Currently, scientists still do not know what causes the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and the aggregation of α-Syn.
We have developed at NETRI microfluidic devices with an asymmetric architecture coupled with high-throughput compatible MultiElectrod Arrays (MEAs), in collaboration with Axion BioSystems. These devices allow the creation of synapses and neurons functional activity recording to study the α-Syn aggregation and its impact on the dopaminergic neurons network.