Every Cell Counts.
MxW Bulletin | Edition No. 5 | 2020

Editor's Note

Hello Everyone! 

How are you all doing? 

It's our last newsletter for 2020 and we have big news! In this edition, we feature our latest company update on closing a Series A financing round together with Sensirion, existing shareholders, and business angels. We have a user interview highlighting the work of Dr. Kenta Shimba from the University of Tokyo. Our news section presents our new headquarters in Zurich, our partnership with Neuroservice, the growing MxW Team, and much more!

Here are quick links to the contents of this newsletter: Thank you so much for being part of MxW's journey! Enjoy the holiday season and see you again in our upcoming newsletters. Best wishes! :-)
We wish you a wonderful holiday season. Have a joyful New Year celebration and a great 2021!

Featured News

MaxWell Biosystems Completes CHF4 million Series A Financing Round

We are thrilled to announce the closing of a CHF 4 Million Series A financing round together with Sensirion, the leading manufacturer of digital microsensors and systems, and other existing shareholders and business angels. With this financing round, MaxWell Biosystems is welcoming Dr. Matthias Streiff, Sensor Innovation at Sensirion, as a new board member.

This collaboration will allow us to further industrialize and scale-up the production of our multiwell HD-MEA plates. This is a major milestone toward the functional drug screenings at higher throughput, and therefore towards the acceleration of the development of novel drugs targeting the brain.

You can read more about this in the following press release:

Press Release

User Interview

Dr. Kenta Shimba, University of Tokyo

Dr. Kenta Shimba
Assistant Professor in Jimbo & Kotani Lab at The University of Tokyo, Japan.

Hello Kenta, could you please summarize your research for us?
We have been studying network dynamics and axonal function in neuronal network. Recently, I'm interested in axon propagation as a function. Neural axons have been regarded simply as cables for conducting activities. Recently, however, it has been reported that signal modulation occurs during signal propagation, and axons are considered to be one of the computational units. We have been studying the combination of conventional MEA and microdevices to guide axons into microtunnels and measure their activity. We confirmed that spontaneous activity causes a transient decrease in the conduction velocity. We are also interested in the myelin sheath, which is the structure wrapping the axon, and one of our study topics is to understand the process of myelination and how the conduction function of the axon changes during demyelination and remyelination.
Could you describe the way you are using MaxOne for your research?
We mainly use the MaxOne system for axon recording. We firstly identified the location of cell bodies using activity scans, and then identified the location of axons extending from each cell. We are challenging to evaluate the dynamics of spatial activity propagation because HD-MEA allows us to record activity from axons at higher density. 
Which specific feature(s) of MaxOne do you appreciate the most?
I like the ability to record the signal with a high signal-to-noise ratio from a large number of electrodes. This allows us to measure even small signals such as axon signals.
You have recently published an abstract in IEEE and also presented posters in ISSCR and FENS about axon research. How did MaxOne help you in your axonal studies?
With conventional MEAs, the number of electrodes that can measure the signal from axons of a neuron is about 10 at most. Contrary, MaxOne can measure signals from more than 100 electrodes. This provides information on the shape and local conduction velocity of the axon.

Have there been any challenges and how did MaxWell Biosystems help to resolve them?
We are challenging to measure the saltatory conduction occurring in myelinated axons. If we can measure saltatory conduction, we can model dysfunction caused by demyelination and the relief of symptoms by remyelination in a dish. For this purpose, we need to measure the signals with high temporal and spatial resolution, and MaxOne helps us to do this.

Do you have hobbies you would like to share with our readers?
I like to do Kendo on weekend. Kendo is a Japanese traditional martial arts, like fencing. We aim to strike appropriate parts with a bamboo sword. I’m learning the Samurai philosophy through practicing Kendo.

Thanks a lot for your time Kenta! It was great to hear how MaxOne could help you in your axonal research. We wish you all the best for your upcoming research!

MaxWell Webinars

The year 2020 marks the beginning of MaxWell Webinars! We hosted our first webinar in April 2020 and were very happy for such a successful event.  Webinars have become one of the best ways for us to present to you the possible applications of our high-content electrophysiology platforms, especially during these times when we can't travel and visit you directly.

We organized a total of 5 episodes this year and were happy to see many attendees joining each of them to learn about the characterization of iPSC-derived neurons, organoids, and retina at single-cell resolution. Thank you very much for your enthusiasm to ask us questions, and we hope you enjoyed the webinars as much as we did.

The latest webinar was co-hosted with FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics and presented the electrophysiological phenotype characterization of hiPSC-derived neuronal cell lines by means of HD-MEA.

In case you missed any of our past webinars, or if you would like to rewatch an episode (now fast forwarding is also possible!), just follow this link.

We are very much looking forward to hosting many more webinars in 2021. You can already register for the first one about spike sorting, on January 14th at 5pm CET. We hope to see you there! 

MxW News

MxW's new headquarters in Zurich!
At the beginning of this year, we moved to our new headquarters in Zurich. We are very excited to now have our own place, where we will continue to grow the team, develop new products, and connect to our customers and partners around the world.

Watch the video: explore our spacious offices, labs, meeting rooms, multifunction room, etc.; and meet our team:
Discover More
Strategic Partnership with Neuroservice
We are excited to announce our strategic partnership with Neuroservice. Through this collaboration, we combine both our state-of-the-art technology and Neuroservice's experimental expertise to offer a unique solution for the assessment of compounds’ efficacy on human iPSC-derived neurons and other neuronal cultures. Read our full press release here.
We're Growing! Announcing New MxW Team Members
We are very happy to welcome new members to the MxW team!
Victor Steininger and Rebekka Hosch joined us for their internship in September as Associate Product Manager in the Product Management & Support Team and Associate R&D Engineer in the Production Team.
In October and November, more interns joined us. Robert Jelitto is now part of the Product Management & Support Team as an Associate Algorithm Engineer and Leo Brockhuis is our new Associate Mechanical Engineer in the Scientific Team. In addition, the Production Team is boosted by Juanita Schneiter (who unfortunately could not make it on the picture), who joined as our new Operator.

We are confident that our growing team will allow us to better support our valued customers and serve our partners' needs.

MaxWell Biosystems will keep growing in 2021! We are hiring for several positions in R&D, sales and marketing: Visit our Career page to learn more about it.
EY Entrepreneurship
Urs Frey, our CEO, has been selected as one of the finalists for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Switzerland in the category "Emerging Entrepreneur". Congratulations Urs, we are very proud of you! More about the competition here.
MaxWell Travels (Virtually): Conferences 2020.2
Unfortunately, due to the special situation, we could not travel as much in 2020 as in previous years. Even if we missed the face-to-face discussions with you, we were glad to have the possibility to e-meet you at virtual conferences. Read more about our experience in this blog post.

Latest Publications using MxW Technology

C. S. Cowan, M. Renner, M. De Gennaro, B. Gross-Scherf, D. Goldblum, Y. Hou, M. Munz, T. M. Rodrigues, J. Krol, T. Szikra, R. Cuttat, A. Waldt, P. Papasaikas, R. Diggelmann, C. P. Patino-Alvarez, P. Galliker, S. E. Spirig, D. Pavlinic, N. Gerber-Hollach, S. Schuierer, A. Srdanovic, M. Balogh, R. Panero, A. Kusnyerik, A. Szabo, M. B. Stadler, S. Orgül, S. Picelli, P. W. Hasler, A. Hierlemann, H. P.N. Scholl, G. Roma, F. Nigsch, B. Roska,
 "Cell Types of the Huamn Retina and Its Organoids at Single-Cell Resolution", Cells. 2020 (DOI: 
S. Idrees, T. A. Münch,
 "Different contrast encoding in ON and OFF visual pathways", bioRxiv. 2020 (DOI: 
MEAs & Neuroengineering
X. Yuan, M. Schröter, M.E.J. Obien, M. Fiscella, W. Gong, T. Kikuchi, A. Odawara, S. Noji, I. Suzuki, J. Takahashi, A. Hierlemann, U. Frey, 
 "Versatile live-cell activity analysis platform for characterization of neuronal dynamics at single-cell and network level", Nat Commun. 2020 (DOI: 
You can also read more about this article in our blog post.
E. Kim, S. Jeon, H.-K. An, M. Kianpour, S.-W. Yu, J.-Y. Kim, J.-C. Rah, H. Choi,
"A magnetically actuated microrobot for targeted neural cell delivery and selective connection of neural networks", Science Advances. 2020 (DOI: 
C. Ricchi, U. Frey, M. E. J. Obien,
"MAPSYNE: Miniaturazied micropipette system combined with high-density microelectrode arrays for automated manipulation of neuronal networks in-vitro", Annu Into Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2020 (DOI: