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Chapter 4

The Use of Microfluidic-based Neuronal Cell Cultures to Study Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease (AD) affects more than 35 million people worldwide and no treatment is currently available to stop neuronal decline in the brain. Microfluidics represents a promising approach to overcome limitations of conventional cell culture (1) for the establishment of in vivo-like ordered and polarized three-dimensional cell cultures and (2) for their use as alternatives to animals to study the disease progression from one part of the neuronal network to another. This chapter highlights how microtechnology-based neuroscience research opens new avenues to a thorough understanding of AD and how it may help to find answers to fundamental AD-related questions such as why pathological proteins (Tau, Aβ) spread all over the brain in a predictable pattern. Those insights potentially provide us with the necessary knowledge for the development of drug targets that counteract the dreadful consequences of this disease.

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01 Dec 2014
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ePub eISBN