MaxWell Biosystems Newsletter
Every Cell Counts
MxW Bulletin | Edition No. 3 | 2021
Hello Everyone!

Yet another extraordinary year has passed. We celebrated our 5th Anniversary and dedicated the year to strengthening our core values and products here at MaxWell Biosystems. Not only did we massively boost our well production to keep pace with the increasing customer demand for chips and well plates. We also invested in rigorous testing and quality control of systems, chips and plates.


As a highlight, we held our first User Meeting: In-Vitro 2D & 3D Neuronal Networks Summit, gathering users from around the world and highlighting the latest scientific applications of our products. With that and more, MxW is ready for rapid scaling up. 

Here in our last newsletter for 2021, we are excited to share the following:
Thank you very much for being with us throughout the year. We are already looking forward to 2022 and many more exciting events and activities together with you.

All of us at MaxWell Biosystems 
wish you a wonderful Holiday Season. Have a joyful New Year and an aMEAzing 2022. And, hope to see you soon, in person! 

   
    Marie and the MaxWell Biosystems Team
   

Special Celebration

MaxWell Biosystems turns 5!

In September, we celebrated MaxWell Biosystems' 5th birthday!
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User Interview and Featured Publication

Join the Conversation with Prof. Kenneth S. Kosik and Dr. Tal Sharf

Prof. Kenneth S. Kosik
Principal Investigator
UC Santa Barbara
California, USA
Dr. Tal Sharf
Postdoctoral Researcher
UC Santa Barbara
California, USA
Recently, Dr. Tal Sharf, Prof. Kenneth S. Kosik, and colleagues released a pre-print on their novel work entitled, “Human brain organoid networks”, which explores the physiological behavior of neuronal circuits within organoids. Human brain organoids are emerging as promising tools to investigate brain development and disease, as well as for drug discovery. This work probed broadband and three-dimensional extracellular signals from spontaneous activity of human brain organoids. Advanced data analysis and quantitative metrics revealed different levels of functional connections among neurons. This paper shows electrophysiological datasets with much more detail, across multiple spatial and temporal scales, beyond previous organoid studies.

Join us in this conversation with Ken and Tal about their fantastic work on human brain organoids and how MaxOne contributed to this exciting story!
(Some snippets from the interview...)
 
Can you please share with us the research interests in your lab?
Ken: We are are very interested in both translational work, that is work that can be applied to medical questions, as well as fundamental basic neuroscience... While recording the activity of dissociated cultures, we discovered additional directions for further exploration. We emphasized on organoids as this opened so many doors regarding questions of brain wiring, genetics and drug discovery. Organoids gave us access to brain circuity that cannot be obtained any other way.

About your recent bioRxiv preprint on human brain organoids, what is the key contribution of this work and how did MaxOne play a role in the story?
Ken: Organoids are known to be similar in cellular composition and development as the human brain. However, there is little understanding of the functional behavior of neuronal networks within the organoids. One of the things we have been very keen on that MaxOne can do, is to capture broadband signal. This means we were able to look at spikes within organoids with incredible millisecond temporal resolution and high spatial resolution, while we can also capture LFPs (local field potentials). The inter-relationship between spikes and LFPs has been very important for people doing animal work for years in which brain encoding is studied...
Tal: MaxOne is an amazing platform and is unlocking a lot of possibilities. It offers the capability to compare what is going on with synchronous neuronal activity. It also allows decomposing recorded signals into LFPs and spiking. 
In our work, using MaxOne, we provide a roadmap for physiological phenotyping of organoids, naturally leading to downstream studies we would like to dive into... e.g., benchmarking neurodevelopmental disorders in human tissue and screening pharmacological compounds.

Could you elaborate on any novel parameters that you think are important and can only be extracted with high-resolution MEAs (and not possible with other technologies)?
Tal: We were using low-resolution arrays before, and this technology can cover a fair amount of real estate, but the problem is that you cannot access functional areas. With MaxOne and its routing capability, we changed the way we can access networks. This opened in our lab the ability to access functional networks, identify regions of interest, select the electrodes with activity, combine that with spike sorting to identify putative single units and look at statistical relationships between units. Identifying these short latency interactions that are putative synaptic connections allowed us to look at the distribution of probabilities that are occurring between units...

 
Do you have any hobbies you would like to share with us?
Tal: I am a surfer and I enjoy surfing a lot. Since our lab is right at the beach I generally go there quite often, especially when experiments do not work as expected (any scientist understands the feeling).
Ken: As Santa Barbara features the best of two worlds: the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains, I do love to go biking in the mountains. The mountains are gorgeous and the view from up there is spectacular!
 
(...)
We thank Ken and Tal for sharing with us their personal insight about their work. We are very excited for the publication of this paper and we are already anticipating how other researchers will build upon this fundamental work towards the future of organoids research. Check out the full interview in the link below.
Read the Full Interview

News

MxW a Key partner in EU-Funded Project: HyVis

 Hybrid Synapse for Vision (HyVIS) is a project funded by European Union Horizon 2020 FET-OPEN program, which aims to combine several technologies to achieve the groundbreaking restoration of synaptic light-mediated input in retinas with impaired photoreceptors, leading to treatments for diseases such as in retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The key focus of HyVIS project is the development of an artificial light-sensitive prosthesis, featuring a nano-sized neurotransmitter-releasing device to activate inner retinal neurons at very high spatial resolution. The HyVIS device targets to restore two key functions carried out by photoreceptors in the retina:
(1) visual transduction
(2) transmission of information from photoreceptors to bipolar cells by functional artificial synapses.

The project, coordinated by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia – IIT (Italy), received  €3 million EU funding, brings together some of the most important European research groups in the field: Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophtalmology – IOB (Switzerland), Sorbonne Université (France), Universität Tubingen (Germany), MaxWell Biosystems (Switzerland).

MaxWell Biosystems’ HD-MEA technology will support the scientists in the HyVIS project, with focus on characterizing to what extent the HyVIS device can restore visual transduction and therefore convey electrical signals to the brain. 

Access the Press Release

Careers

New MaxWellers Wanted!

MaxWell Biosystems is expanding and we are looking for new colleagues to join us in innovating the future of electrophysiology for drug discovery and basic research.

Are you an expert stem cell biologist, skilled MEA user, or a computational neuroscientist wizard? Are you up for the challenge to boost our users' success and bring them to the next level, to bring our exciting technology to new users, or to optmize our production yield? Or are you looking for an opportunity to be part of dynanic, international and multidisciplinary team?

We have several open positions and are about to open several more. If you are interested, please check our Careers page or send your inquiry to hr@mxwbio.com.

Join Us

Publications

Latest Works using MxW Technology

 
Human brain organoid networks

Tal Sharf, Tjitse van der Molen, Stella M.K. Glasauer, Elmer Guzman, Alessio P. Buccino, Gabriel Luna, Zhouwei Cheng, Morgane Audouard, Kamalini G. Ranasinghe, Kiwamu Kudo, Srikantan S. Nagarajan, Kenneth R. Tovar, Linda R. Petzold, Andreas Hierlemann, Paul K. Hansma, Kenneth S. Kosik

bioRxiv, September 2021 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.28.428643)





 
In vitro neurons learn and exhibit sentience when embodied in a simulated game-world

Brett J. Kagan, Andy C. Kitchen, Nhi T. Tran, Bradyn J. Parker, Anjali Bhat, Ben Rollo, Adeel Razi, Karl J. Friston.

bioRxiv, December 2021 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.12.02.471005)
Link to New Scientist article





 
Human neural networks with sparse TDP-43 pathology reveal NPTX2 misregulation in ALS/FTLD

Marian Hruska-Plochan, Katharina M. Betz, Silvia Ronchi, Vera I. Wiersma, Zuzanna Maniecka, Eva-Maria Hock, Florent Laferriere, Sonu Sahadevan, Vanessa Hoop, Igor Delvendahl, Martina Panatta, Alexander van der Bourg, Dasa Bohaciakova, Karl Frontzek, Adriano Aguzzi, Tammaryn Lashley, Mark D. Robinson, Theofanis Karayannis, Martin Mueller, Andreas Hierlemann, Magdalini Polymenidou

bioRxiv, December 2021 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.12.08.471089)
Did we miss to highlight your work? We are doing our best to monitor all publications where our technology has been used, but we may occasionally not be aware or overlook some works. Please let us know by sending an email to info@mxwbio.com so that we can feature your research in our website and newsletters. Feel free to also let us know if you will present in any upcoming conferences or events so that we can also share it in our social media and other channels. Thank you!

Webinars 2021

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