Every Cell Counts.
MxW Bulletin | Edition No. 3 | 2019

Editor's Note

Hello Everyone! 

We have been busy traveling around the world for our MaxTwo World Launch Tour. Since April, we already organized workshops in Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai. This week and the next, we will be in Boston and Los Angeles. Amazing feedback has been received during these trips regarding the need for a high-resolution multi-well system for many different applications, such as characterization of iPSCs, disease models, organoids and spheroids, as well as for safety pharmacology and drug discovery. The first batch of MaxTwo units is now sold out! The next batch is in production and most units are already reserved. Thank you very much! 
In this newsletter, we are highlighting MaxLab Live—the software for both MaxOne and MaxTwo. 
Also, we are a Gold Sponsor of ISSCR 2019! We have exciting activities at our booth (MxW Cell Story), an evening reception, a luncheon innovation showcase, and a LEGO competition! Find out about our other upcoming events as well.
Finally, check out the list of latest publications using our technology.
I do hope you enjoy this edition especially made for you while up in the air! :-)


MaxLab Live Assays

Experiments and Results in One-Button

Experimental design and targeted results go hand-in-hand. This inspired us to develop assays for different applications and integrate them in MaxLab Live. By creating a workflow that includes the acquisition and analysis of data, results from recordings can be obtained much more easily. 
We first focused on Assays for Neuronal Networks. 
  • Activity Scan to acquire whole-sample electrical images together with spike rate and amplitude metrics.
  • Network to obtain burst features, synchronicity, and functional connectivity.
  • Axon to extract the axonal arbors of single neurons and axonal conduction velocities.
We are continuously working on new assays for different types of preparations and experiments. Reach out to us by email (info@mxwbio.com) if you want to learn more about MaxLab Live Assays.

Download here the latest MxW Tips and Tricks featuring the Activity Scan Assay.

MaxTwo World Launch Tour

MaxTwo is going to the US! After three successful workshops in Asia, we are bringing MaxTwo to Boston and Los Angeles.

We are excited to have highly distinguished speakers from academia and industry in our Boston workshop this Friday, June 21st. You can find here the link to the program. Get to know how our users are getting the best quality results from MxW high-resolution MEA systems.

We are also very happy to be a Gold Sponsor of ISSCR 2019 this year! Here is a list of our activities and events during ISSCR next week. If you are attending the conference or if you're in the LA area, come and meet us in any of these events. Our evening reception on June 26th is extra special!

We still have a few seats left so hurry and register through the link below!
Register here

User Interview: Silvia Ronchi, PhD Student, ETH Zürich

Silvia Ronchi
Bio Engineering Lab

Silvia Rochi is a PhD student at the Bio Engineering Lab (Prof. Andreas Hierlemann), Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETH Zurich. She recently published a journal paper in Frontiers in Neuroscience entitled, “Single-Cell Electrical Stimulation Using CMOS-Based High-Density Microelectrode Arrays”. She utilized the flexible features of MaxOne's electrical stimulation to target single neurons effectively. 
Can you tell us what motivated you to do this project?
Electrical stimulation is a widely used technique. To study exactly how it works at the scale of single cells opens up a lot of other applications. I got really motivated at SfN (2018 in San Diego) when fellow scientists asked me more information about how I performed electrical stimulation using microelectrode electrode arrays and it was there where I realized that my method-centric study can be extended to other fields. One group working on prosthesis for the arm was very interested to learn more about current stimulation, as they are using it to provide touch sensation to patients. There are many other types of prostheses where setting the proper parameters for electrical stimulation is crucial. 
What are the main findings of your paper?
First with the use of immunofluorescence staining, I confirmed that the most efficient point to stimulate single cells is the AIS (axonal initial segment).
I tested different parameters in both voltage and current stimulation. I also used multi-electrode configurations, with some electrodes connected to the reference or the inverted waveform. Based on my results, current stimulation is the easiest to use for single-cell activation. The stimulation duration can be reduced by using current. Thus, the response (action potential) can be clearly identified.  
I also observed that the more matured cells become, the easier it is to stimulate them.  
Are there other applications where you tried single-cell stimulation protocols?
Yes, stimulation of retinal ganglion cells. The cells are matured and the axons can be placed very close to the electrode array. I was able to use even lower stimulation amplitudes in the retina.

Which features of MaxOne helped you most in your work?
The size of electrodes and the density of electrodes were really key to my work. With 17.5 micrometer center-to-center distance between electrodes, I was able to target different compartments of a single cell and identify the most excitable location. Moreover, the capability to choose between voltage and current stimulation allowed me to study these modalities in detail. The system is super flexible, so I was also able to use any waveform that I wanted to try out.

If there would be a stimulation-based Assay, what would you like to be implemented?
What would be nice to have is an easy feedback if it's really a single cell being stimulated. It would be very helpful if there is a simple spike sorting implemented in the software to obtain the electrical footprints of single cells, then to use those to be able to compare the footprint of the stimulated cells (some sort of template matching). Already by visual inspection of such neuronal footprints, it would be much faster to identify the best spot for stimulating each cell. Automating this protocol would be a dream.

Would you like your work to be featured in our newsletter? Contact marie.obien@mxwbio.com if you're interested.

Next Conferences and Exhibitions

SSNGE 2019
24-25 May 2019 | Edinburgh, Scotland

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

ISSCR Symposium 2019
26-27 September 2019 | Seoul, South Korea

SfN 2019
19-23 October 2019 | Chicago, Illinois

Latest Publications using MxW Technology

V. Viswam, M. E. J. Obien, F. Franke, U. Frey, A. Hierlemann, "Optimal electrode size for multi-scale extracellular-potential recording from neuronal assemblies"Frontiers in Neuroscience 2019, 13, Article 385 (DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00385). Online

Axonal Action Potential Propagation
V. Emmenegger, M. E. J. Obien, F. Franke, A. Hierlemann, "Technologies to study action potential propagation with a focus on HD-MEAs"Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 2019, 13, Article 159 (DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2019.00159). Online

Hibernation, Brain Slices
T. Russell, J. Zhang, M. Okoniewski, F. Franke, S. Bichet, A. Hierlemann, "Medullary respiratory circuit is reorganized by a seasonally-induced program in preparation for hibernation"Frontiers in Neuroscience2019, 13, Article 376 (DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00376). Online
Classification of Action Potential Waveforms
T. Mita, D. Bakkum, U. Frey, A. Hierlemann, R. Kanzaki, H. Takahashi,"Classification of inhibitory and excitatory neurons of dissociated cultures based on action-potential waveforms on high-density CMOS microelectrode arrays"IEEJ Transactions on Electronics, Information and Systems 2019, 139 (5), pp. 615-624 (DOI: 10.1541/ieejeiss.139.615). Online