Integrated Micro-Devices for a Lab-in-Organoid Technology Platform: Current Status and Future Perspectives

Front Neurosci. 2022 Apr 26;16:842265. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.842265. eCollection 2022.


Advancements in stem cell technology together with an improved understanding of in vitro organogenesis have enabled new routes that exploit cell-autonomous self-organization responses of adult stem cells (ASCs) and homogenous pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) to grow complex, three-dimensional (3D), mini-organ like structures on demand, the so-called organoids. Conventional optical and electrical neurophysiological techniques to acquire functional data from brain organoids, however, are not adequate for chronic recordings of neural activity from these model systems, and are not ideal approaches for throughput screenings applied to drug discovery. To overcome these issues, new emerging approaches aim at fusing sensing mechanisms and/or actuating artificial devices within organoids. Here we introduce and develop the concept of the Lab-in-Organoid (LIO) technology for in-tissue sensing and actuation within 3D cell aggregates. This challenging technology grounds on the self-aggregation of brain cells and on integrated bioelectronic micro-scale devices to provide an advanced tool for generating 3D biological brain models with in-tissue artificial functionalities adapted for routine, label-free functional measurements and for assay's development. We complete previously reported results on the implementation of the integrated self-standing wireless silicon micro-devices with experiments aiming at investigating the impact on neuronal spheroids of sinusoidal electro-magnetic fields as those required for wireless power and data transmission. Finally, we discuss the technology headway and future perspectives.

Keywords: 3D cell cultures technologies; biointerface engineering; biological model; complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS); inductive link; neural recording; organoids; radio frequencies (RF) waves.