Micropatterning Facilitates the Long-Term Growth and Analysis of iPSC-Derived Individual Human Neurons and Neuronal Networks

Lena F. Burbulla, Kristin G. Beaumont, Milan Mrksich*, Dimitri Krainc

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their application to patient-specific disease models offers new opportunities for studying the pathophysiology of neurological disorders. However, current methods for culturing iPSC-derived neuronal cells result in clustering of neurons, which precludes the analysis of individual neurons and defined neuronal networks. To address this challenge, cultures of human neurons on micropatterned surfaces are developed that promote neuronal survival over extended periods of time. This approach facilitates studies of neuronal development, cellular trafficking, and related mechanisms that require assessment of individual neurons and specific network connections. Importantly, micropatterns support the long-term stability of cultured neurons, which enables time-dependent analysis of cellular processes in living neurons. The approach described in this paper allows mechanistic studies of human neurons, both in terms of normal neuronal development and function, as well as time-dependent pathological processes, and provides a platform for testing of new therapeutics in neuropsychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1894-1903
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 10 2016


  • aging
  • human induced pluripotent stem cells
  • long-term neuronal culture
  • microcontact printing technology
  • neurodegenerative disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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