Every Cell Counts.
MxW Bulletin | Edition Q4.2018

Editor's Note

Greetings from Basel! Welcome to the Q4.2018 edition of MxW Bulletin

We celebrated our second anniversary last September and this issue is packed with exciting news and announcements!
Enjoy reading!

Application Feature

MaxOne for Axon Research

Track the axons of every active cell--long-term and label free
Investigating neuronal function is one of the core capability of MaxOne, and accessing the axon is very important to understand how information is transported within networks. Axons are microscopically thin, approximately 1 micrometer in diameter, and studying axons have so far been limited to a few cells per experiment. MaxOne can access the signals of propagating action potentials along axons due to its high-resolution sensor array and low noise. Potentially, the axons of every active cell on the array can be tracked and observed long-term and label-free! This capability to study axons allows the researcher to: 
  • Characterize the maturity of the cell based on the velocity of the propagating action potentials
  • Reveal the location of the axon initial segment (AIS)
  • Track axonal growth and branching 
These readouts can be applied to study the function of iPSC-derived neurons, phenotype disease models, screen compounds, and basic neuroscience research. Learn more here and check out the latest publication here.
Ask an Expert

2019 Agenda

We are currently arranging meetings around the globe for 2019. Check our schedule below and let us know if you're in the area!

Conferences and Exhibitions

ISFN 2019
6-8 January 2019 | Eilat, Israel

SLAS 2019
2-6 February 2019 | Washington DC, USA

ISSCR Symposium 2019
20-22 February 2019 | Amsterdam, Netherlands

NWG Göttingen 2019
20-23 March 2019 | Göttingen, Germany

ISSCR 2019
26-29 June 2019 | Los Angeles, CA, USA

The 42nd Annual Meeting of the JNS
25-28 July 2019 | Niigata, Japan

ERM 2019
12-14 September 2019 | Helsinki, Finland

IBRO 2019
21-25 September 2019 | Daegu, South Korea

SfN 2019
19-23 October 2019 | Chicago, Illinois

MxW Report: Exhibitions, Top 100 Startups, Growing Team

MxW Exhibits Around the World

MxW showcased a new exhibition booth this year. MaxTwo, the first high-resolution multi-well microelectrode array system, was revealed in Australia. We attended several neuroscience meetings in Germany, Japan, and the US. We also went to several locations around the globe to meet our customers and to demo our products. We are learning a lot from fellow scientists their specific needs and applications for high-resolution electrophysiology.

In case you missed us in these conferences, you can download our latest brochures from this link.
Top 100 Startup,
MxW Team 


2018 is a year of growth for MxW. We jumped to rank 22 in the Top 100 Swiss Startups! We were one of the biggest climbers in this year's ranking. We also ranked as a top startup in Basel and as one of the top five biotech companies. We are very honored for this recognition!

We also achieved our first Marie Curie Fellowship to develop a new product. Stay tuned for more info next year.

Our team continues to grow! We have increased our efforts on the software/hardware side and boosted our sales and marketing. We also strengthened our distributorship network in Asia.

Last summer, we had a #MaxWeller Team Building Retreat at the MEA Meeting in Reutlingen, Germany. It was a good opportunity for the MxW Team to meet and discuss with MEA users and customers... and to have fun!

Join us! We are currently looking for a Software Engineer and Interns. Visit our Careers page to know more.

Featured: Dr. Szilard Sajgo, DANDRITE - Aarhus University

Dr. Szilard Sajgo

DANDRITE - Nordic EMBL - Aarhus University
Yonehara Group
Aarhus, Denmanrk
Hi, Szilard. You're currently studying retinal function using MaxOne. What are the goals of your research? 

The overall goal of my research is to figure out what genes are involved in the assymetric inhibitory circuit of direction selectivity. We gained a significant insight from the FRMD7 paper (Reference 1), which showed that the FRMD7 gene affects the horizontal directive axis. Building on this, we are now looking for other genes that are enriched or expressed in starburst amacrine cells, which are the major interneurons in this circuit. We are also looking at interaction partners of FRMD7, by screening candidate gene knock-out animals for horizontal optomotor response (OMR). This basically tests the non-visual perception of vision, where the animal moves its head and eyes with the direction of the light stimulus (Reference 2). This is mediated by the direction selective circuit. Once we confirm that we have an animal model with reduced horizontal OMR, we then need to define what is the reason for this lack in function. Is it because there is something wrong at the starburst amacrine cell level or is it something caused by missing photoreceptors or some other circuit elements? For this purpose, we perform experiments with retina preparations from the positive mutants using MaxOne HD-MEA and we test for light responsiveness. Using MaxOne, we can check whether the retina has intact photoreceptors and intact circuits. We also investigate whether any aspects of direction selectivity in the vertical or horizontal axis is reduced or missing. In parallel, we are also looking at the expression profiles of these genes. 

Cool! Can you tell us more about your MaxOne experience?
The MaxOne System has been very useful for us because it has relatively a large surface area. In other systems that I have used, you only have a really small surface area and your preparation has to be perfectly there. Those are the electrodes available to you and you cannot do anything about it. The retina naturally has a concave shape. When you push it down to make contact with the electrodes, sometimes there are areas with better contacts, and some that are not well attached. What I specifically like about MaxOne is that you can actually choose the area which has the best contact in the patch and you can optimize the area where you record from. And that I think is a huge advantage compared to other systems. I can determine where the best area for recording is, right? If my electrodes are not close to the cells, then they are of no use to me. Those will just be recording noise and no relevant information.
What are your specific MEA needs for this work?
High-resolution helps because theoretically, we can get access to signals of every cell. And for instance, if you can get signals from multiple electrodes in contact with the same cell, this can help in the improvements of spike sorting and data quality is much improved.
And at this stage, we have a really nice MaxOne System Setup where we can do ‘electrode walking’. We have predefined positions on the HD-MEA with a thousand configured electrodes and then we synchronize the position of the x-y stage so that we just shine light into this patch. The advantage here is that we can have focused light stimulation, which effectively activates the cells that we are recording. Wide-field light stimulation is not what we need. With electrode walking, the whole process of scanning the whole retina preparation at high-resolution is automated. This makes experimenter's life much easier. 
Wow! That's a great setup for all retina and optogenetics researchers. It's good to know that you are doing wonderful experiments using MaxOne. How did the support team help you? 
Before, we were actually thinking of getting a passive MEA. We know we can manage that data. And then, MaxOne came out on the market and of course, more electrodes = better data! My first worries were how to handle this much data? We cannot do it manually. The MaxWell Team helped me get started and I think this kind of support is unique to MaxWell. I know large companies, they give you their product, take the money and that's it. But the MaxWell Team is very helpful in answering questions, of which I had a lot because the system was so new to me. And I value MaxWell's support very much! Maybe if I did it alone, it would have taken me 6 months more. You can never have too much data, but the bottleneck is the analysis. 
[1] K. Yonehara, et al., "Congenital nystagmus gene FRMD7 is necessary for establishing a neuronal circuit asymmetry for direction selectivity"Neuron, 2016, 89(1), pp. 177-193 (DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.11.032).
[2] F. Kretschmer, et al., "A system to measure the optokinetic and optomotor response in mice"J. Neurosci. Methods, 2015, 256, pp. 91-105.

Latest Publications using MxW Technology

D. Bakkum, et al., "The axon initial segment is the dominant contributor to the neuron's extracellular electrical potential landscape"Advanced Biosystems 2018, 1800308 (DOI: 10.1002/adbi.201800308). Online


M. Lewandowska, et al., "Long-term high-density extracellular recordings enable studies of muscle cell physiology"Frontiers in Physiology 2018, Vol. 9, article 1424 (DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01424). Online


Spike Sorting
R. Diggelmann, et al., "Automatic Spike Sorting Algorithm for High-Density Microelectrode Arrays", Journal of Neurophysiology 2018, in press (DOI: 10.1152/jn.00803.2017). Online


A. Drinnenberg, et al., "How diverse retinal functions arise from feedback at the first visual synapse"Neuron 2018, Vol. 99 (1), pp. 117-134.e11 (DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.06.001). OnlinePreview


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