Thesis Rahman Sabahi Kaviani (TU/e): Development of Nervous System-on-Chip Technology.

On January 17th 2024 Rahman Sabahi Kaviani successfully defended his thesis entitled “Development of Nervous System-on-Chip Technology” at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUe). The research was part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 CONNECT project under the supervision of Dr. Regina Luttge and Prof. Jaap den Toonder.

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson present a global challenge, lacking effective therapies due to limited understanding of the nervous system. Nervous system-on-Chip (NoC) technology holds promise through advancements in microfluidics and tissue engineering for enhanced in vitro modeling.

In this research, Rahman has explored the details of NoC technology, focusing on the fabrication, characterization, and integration of its components. Microscale devices, including microtunnel devices, microsieves, and nanogrooves, were intricately designed and fabricated using cutting-edge micro- and nanofabrication techniques. These components, comprising surface patterns and environmental guiding cues, shape neuronal cell processes and network formation, offering a versatile toolbox of 3D microgeometries for compartmentalized NoCs. Utilizing advanced manufacturing methods such as laser technology, Rahman achieved enhanced precision in creating structures like 3D micropores within microsieves, which in turn influence cellular mechanical stress, providing novel insights into cell behavior.

The introduction of neurons into microfabricated devices streamlines access to neural network models, enabling exploration of how the NoC microenvironment influences network behavior and neuroelectrophysiology. This study has also demonstrated the remarkable potential of electrically functionalized polymer-based microsieves, where thin film electrodes and wiring patterns have been successfully integrated. This development enables the recording of neural activity on microsieves, providing insights into the electrical features of brain function.
In essence, this thesis represents a step forward in NoC technology, providing researchers with a powerful set of tools to study neuronal behavior and interaction across various scenarios. This opens exciting possibilities for various applications, advancing our understanding of neurology and aiding in the development of innovative disease models. Overall, this work has the potential to create effective solutions for treating neurodegenerative diseases, improving the quality of life for those affected, and reducing the societal burden associated with these conditions.

Connect with us