In Vitro 3D Modeling of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Bioengineering (Basel). 2023 Jan 10;10(1):93. doi: 10.3390/bioengineering10010093.


The study of neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is very complex due to the difficulty in investigating the cellular dynamics within nervous tissue. Despite numerous advances in the in vivo study of these diseases, the use of in vitro analyses is proving to be a valuable tool to better understand the mechanisms implicated in these diseases. Although neural cells remain difficult to obtain from patient tissues, access to induced multipotent stem cell production now makes it possible to generate virtually all neural cells involved in these diseases (from neurons to glial cells). Many original 3D culture model approaches are currently being developed (using these different cell types together) to closely mimic degenerative nervous tissue environments. The aim of these approaches is to allow an interaction between glial cells and neurons, which reproduces pathophysiological reality by co-culturing them in structures that recapitulate embryonic development or facilitate axonal migration, local molecule exchange, and myelination (to name a few). This review details the advantages and disadvantages of techniques using scaffolds, spheroids, organoids, 3D bioprinting, microfluidic systems, and organ-on-a-chip strategies to model neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: bioprinting; microfluidic; organ on chip; organoids; scaffolds; spheroids.

Publication types

  • Review