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M/W PhD Student - Development of nanoprobe array technology for high resolution electrophysiology of human brain organoids-on-chip.

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Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : vendredi 2 juillet 2021

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General information

Reference : IRL2820-GUILAR-004
Workplace : TOULOUSE
Date of publication : Friday, June 11, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Guilhem Larrieu
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Context: Organoid technologies have attracted increasing attention due to their unprecedented potential for modeling human organs in vitro by mimicking differentiation and self-organization in vivo. Brain organoids can help us overcome major issues of neuroscience research, including the limited access to viable human primary tissue, the difficulties of investigating human brains non-invasively, and the poor match of animal models of neurological diseases with the human pathophysiology. One limitation of the current development of brain organoid research is the lack of technological tool to monitor electrophysiological activity for a long period with high resolution and sensitivity. By using a Nano Electrode Arrays technology (Casanova, J. Phys. Cond. Mat. 2018) developed at LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse, we demonstrated with the Institute of Industrial Science in Tokyo (Ikeuchi Lab), the possibility to interface in-vitro 3D tissues with high resolution thanks to the high affinity of the nanoprobes with the cells. Moreover, the Ikeuchi Lab (University of Tokyo) is developing methods to generate macroscopic circuits of human neurons by connecting organoids through axon bundles in a microfluidic chip, mimicking the physical environment in custom-made microchips. Strikingly, the connected organoids exhibited much more complex neuronal activity than conventional organoids (Osaki and Ikeuchi, Biorxiv 2021). In the framework of a new granted project by the CNRS – University of Tokyo “Excellence Science” Joint Research Program, LAAS-CNRS and Ikeuchi Lab aim to combine the two state-of-the-art technologies (Nano Electrodes and the connected organoids), to better understand how neural circuits in the brain function, and how Alzheimer disease affect them.
Thesis subject: We are looking for a talented PhD candidate who will work on the technological development of nanoelectrode array technology for high resolution electrophysiology of human brain organoids-on-chip. The activities of this PhD project include (i) the development of the NEA platform specifically designed to able recording the 3D tissue and to track the electrical activity along the axonal bundles (ii) the development of microfluidic chip to create the connected organoid system, (iii) the integration of the connected organoid systems on the custom nanoelectrodes array platform and (iv) the thorough characterization from immunostaining to electrophysiology of the brain-on-chip system.
Context: Organoid technologies have attracted increasing attention due to their unprecedented potential for modeling human organs in vitro by mimicking differentiation and self-organization in vivo. Brain organoids can help us overcome major issues of neuroscience research, including the limited access to viable human primary tissue, the difficulties of investigating human brains non-invasively, and the poor match of animal models of neurological diseases with the human pathophysiology. One limitation of the current development of brain organoid research is the lack of technological tool to monitor electrophysiological activity for a long period with high resolution and sensitivity. By using a Nano Electrode Arrays technology (Casanova, J. Phys. Cond. Mat. 2018) developed at LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse, we demonstrated with the Institute of Industrial Science in Tokyo (Ikeuchi Lab), the possibility to interface in-vitro 3D tissues with high resolution thanks to the high affinity of the nanoprobes with the cells. Moreover, the Ikeuchi Lab (University of Tokyo) is developing methods to generate macroscopic circuits of human neurons by connecting organoids through axon bundles in a microfluidic chip, mimicking the physical environment in custom-made microchips. Strikingly, the connected organoids exhibited much more complex neuronal activity than conventional organoids (Osaki and Ikeuchi, Biorxiv 2021). In the framework of a new granted project by the CNRS – University of Tokyo “Excellence Science” Joint Research Program, LAAS-CNRS and Ikeuchi Lab aim to combine the two state-of-the-art technologies (Nano Electrodes and the connected organoids), to better understand how neural circuits in the brain function, and how Alzheimer disease affect them.
Thesis subject: We are looking for a talented PhD candidate who will work on the technological development of nanoelectrode array technology for high resolution electrophysiology of human brain organoids-on-chip. The activities of this PhD project include (i) the development of the NEA platform specifically designed to able recording the 3D tissue and to track the electrical activity along the axonal bundles (ii) the development of microfluidic chip to create the connected organoid system, (iii) the integration of the connected organoid systems on the custom nanoelectrodes array platform and (iv) the thorough characterization from immunostaining to electrophysiology of the brain-on-chip system.

Work Context

With a large number of permanent researchers, engineers and PhD students as well as strong interactions with industry, the LAAS-CNRS is situated at the crossing between scientific research, innovation and applications, where science meets nanotechnology in close connection with society. The LAAS-CNRS possesses one of the most important technological installations dedicated to research in Europe, with an ultra-modern cleanroom of 1600m². and a new biology laboratory for cell cultures, and bio-related activities.
The PhD student will be associated to the nano&neuro electronics activities (within MPN team) that have an international recognition in the development of functional nano-devices for nano- and bio-electronics applications. The project will mainly be carried out in the host laboratory in Toulouse, but the student researcher will work in a very stimulating context of international research collaboration within the framework of the CNRS – University of Tokyo “Excellence Science” Joint Research Program, with short term-exchanges at University of Tokyo in the Ikeuchi Lab.

Constraints and risks

Enthusiastic and curious candidates with a certain autonomy and a strong motivation to develop skills at the interface between nanotechnologies and neuroscience are encouraged to apply. The candidate, MASTER graduated, will have knowledge in nanotechnology / nanofabrication and /or bio-engineering and / or, materials science with a strong perseverance in experimental work, confidence in dealing with chemicals and ability to work in a multidisciplinary and international environment.

Additional Information

Applications should include a motivation letter, a full curriculum vitae, a copy of the relevant diplomas showing marks and the contact details of 2 references.

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