Topologically controlled circuits of human iPSC-derived neurons for electrophysiology recordings†
Bottom-up neuroscience, which consists of building and studying controlled networks of neurons in vitro, is a promising method to investigate information processing at the neuronal level. However, in vitro studies tend to use cells of animal origin rather than human neurons, leading to conclusions that might not be generalizable to humans and limiting the possibilities for relevant studies on neurological disorders. Here we present a method to build arrays of topologically controlled circuits of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons. The circuits consist of 4 to 50 neurons with well-defined connections, confined by microfabricated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membranes. Such circuits were characterized using optical imaging and microelectrode arrays (MEAs), suggesting the formation of functional connections between the neurons of a circuit. Electrophysiology recordings were performed on circuits of human iPSC-derived neurons for at least 4.5 months. We believe that the capacity to build small and controlled circuits of human iPSC-derived neurons holds great promise to better understand the fundamental principles of information processing and storing in the brain.