Francesca Izzi and Paolo Cesare
Neuro Microphysiological Systems Group, Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen, 72770 Reutlingen, Germany
Studying the nervous system has always been a challenging task. The classical electrophysiological techniques, such as patch-clamp, are time and energy consuming, and lead to low throughput experiments.
By using a high-density multiple electrode arrays (MEA) system, we are able to record the electrical activity of high density cultures of both pure sensory neurons and non-purified neurons with relative glial cells, in the aim of exploiting the mechanisms that lead to the development of neuropathic pain. Surprisingly, cultures of pure neurons show no electrical activity in response to the application of different agonists, suggesting a role for glial cells in the development of pain abnormalities. The implementation of neurons-glia co-cultures and the functional characterization of their interaction mechanisms could then lead to the identification of novel targets
and biomarkers involved in neuropathic pain.