Offre de stage

Developing a multiplexed brain-on-a-chip technology to study brain plasticity

Période :   au

The project aims to design and functionally characterize an innovative multiplexed microfluidic system reconstructing parallel neural networks on chips. This work is part of a large consortium gathering neuroscientists at INT (Marseille), engineers at CEA (Grenoble) and Fluigent® company (Paris).

Description

Within the framework of reducing animal experimentation, research laboratories and pharmaceutical industries are looking for alternative in vitro models that faithfully recapitulate the physiological in vivo context. This long-sought endeavor has led to the spectacular development of organ-on-chip technologies in the last years.

Organ-on-chips organize the various cellular components of a given tissue using physical and chemical constraints. However, current systems do not adapt to pharmaceutical and preclinical use because they only support single chip analyses. It is therefore time to develop autonomous multiplexed systems allowing the standardized analysis of several devices in parallel.

The goal of the present project is to design, characterize and challenge an innovative multiplexed microfluidic system reconstructing parallel neural networks on chips. This work is part of a large consortium gathering neuroscientists at Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone (INT, CNRS, Aix Marseille Univ), engineers at the Laboratoire d’électronique et de technologie de l’information (LETI, CEA, Univ Grenobles Alpes) and microfluidic experts at Fluigent® (Kremlin Bicêtre).

Our methodology combines state of the art brain-on-a-chip devices, microfluidic technology, primary neuron co-cultures, and live videomicroscopy.

More details can be found here at http://www.brainwirelab.fr/

Profil recherché

We are looking for a motivated student with a background in bioengineering and with a fair understanding of brain physiology. Previous experience with cell cultures, videomicroscopy or microfluidic fabrication would be a plus but is not mandatory.

The candidate will be closely supervised by the PI and a graduate student, in a young and dynamic team at INT.

Établissement d'accueil

The Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone (INT) is an academic research institute located in downtown Marseille on the medical campus of la Timone at Aix-Marseille Univ. The 4500 m2 building is currently home to 12 research teams grouped around 4 major neuroscience disciplines: Cellular Neurobiology, Neurophysiology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Cognitive Neuroscience. The INT also offers several experimental platforms, including rodent and primate facility, microelectronics fabrication, imaging and photonics facility, virus production platform, and a microfluidic platform.

The SONIC team led by Maxim CAZORLA and Eduardo GASCON gathers 11 researchers, engineers/technicians, and students. By focusing on the plasticity of cognitive networks during childhood and adulthood, the laboratory benefits from the synergy of the approaches developed by the two researchers, respectively experts in in vitro (brain-on-chip, subcellular dynamics) and in vivo (behavior, epigenetics) models.

Since 2022, Maxim Cazorla is co-director of the NeuroTechnology Center (NTC) with Pr. Rod O’Connor (École des Mines). This center, dedicated to technological innovation for Neuroscience, benefits from the total renovation of 400 m2 of experimental laboratories and technical platforms (including a L2 and L3-grade laboratory). The NeuroTech Center currently federates over 10 research teams and technical facilities specialized in neuroscience, bioengineering, microelectronics, optics, biomechanics, computation and photonics.

The current project will be conducted at the NeuroTech Center, and the candidate will closely interact with this community.

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