A 3D In Vitro Cortical Tissue Model Based on Dense Collagen to Study the Effects of Gamma Radiation on Neuronal Function

Authors: Neal M. Lojek, Victoria A. Williams, Andrew M. Rogers, Erno Sajo, Bryan J. Black, and Chiara E. Ghezzi

Advanced Healthcare Materials, 03 November 2023


Researchers use advanced models on Maestro MEA to explore the impact of gamma radiation on the human brain and evaluate the neuroprotective effects of amifostine. 

Exposure to high doses of gamma radiation is associated with cognitive decline, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood—in part due to a lack of tissue models that recapitulate human brain function. In this study, scientists use a multiplatform approach to explore the effects of gamma radiation on physiologically relevant 3D collagen-based cortical tissue models and 2D hiPSC co-cultures and demonstrate the neuroprotective effects of amifostine. To assess real-time neural activity in vitro, the team used Axion’s noninvasive Maestro multielectrode array (MEA) system, with results showing decreased mean firing rate and network burst frequency in the 2D co-cultures suggesting disruption of activity and synaptic function. Changes in multi-unit activity were not observed in the 3D tissue models, however, possibly due to astrocyte buffering of reactive oxygen species and differences between 2D and 3D models. While additional research to better understand these differences is needed, the authors conclude that the cortical tissue model provides a critical experimental platform to understand cell-level mechanisms by which gamma radiation affects human cortical tissue and to screen prospective radioprotectant compounds.”