Use of Microfluidics Technology to Model Pathogenic Protein Seeding in Neurodegeneration in vitro

Dr Eve Corrie, Dr Rebecca Kelly, Dr Matthieu Trigano, and Dr Emma V. Jones

Many neurodegenerative diseases are associated with the presence of misfolded, aggregating proteins within the brain, leading to cytotoxicity and cell death.

The prion hypothesis states that these toxic species spread through the brain via anatomically connected regions, leading to widespread neurodegeneration.

Examples of prion-like proteins in neurodegeneration:

α-synuclein – Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy

β-amyloid – Alzheimer’s disease

TDP43 – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia

Tau – Alzheimer’s disease, corticobasal degeneration, frontotemporal dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, progressive supranuclear palsy