Establishment of Neurotoxicity Assessment Using Microelectrode Array (MEA) with hiPSC-Derived Neurons and Evaluation of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

Authors: Kang KR, Kim CY, Kim J, Ryu B, Lee SG, Baek J, Kim YJ, Lee JM, Lee Y, Choi SO, Woo DH, Park IH, Chung HM. 

International Journal of Stem Cells, 2022.

Scientists use hiPSC-derived neurons on Axion’s Maestro MEA platform to explore the neurotoxicity of new psychoactive substances and other neurotoxicants in vitro.

Accurate assessments of neurotoxicity from pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, pesticides, gases, volatiles, and other potential neurotoxicants are essential for protecting human health, but in vitro testing methods such as patch-clamp are inefficient and in vivo animal studies can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, ethically problematic, and prone to error due to species differences. Although widely used multielectrode array (MEA) technology using neurons derived from mice or brain slices offers advantages over traditional neurotoxicity methods, human-derived neurons may provide even more robust safety results. In this study, scientists use human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neurons on Axion’s noninvasive, label-free Maestro MEA platform to compare MEA-based and conventional neurotoxicity assessments and examine the neurotoxicity of a diverse set of neurotoxicants including illicit drugs and psychoactive substances. The authors report their findings as the first to apply hiPSC-derived neurons to a diverse set of new psychoactive substances.