Virtual Frontiers in MBM Lecture: Brain-on-a-chip for modeling human brain diseases

Seungwoo ChoSeungwoo Cho, Professor of Biotechnology at Yonsei University in South Korea, will give a virtual lecture February 22, 2023 on “Brain-on-a-chip for modeling human brain diseases” at 4:00 pm Central on Zoom. An MBM trainee and PhD candidate will give an introduction.

The lecture is free and open to the public courtesy of the Miniature Brain Machinery Program.

Abstract:

Modeling brain development and neuronal disorders remains a great challenge due to the complexity of the structure, physiology, and function of the human brain. Several in vitro models have been established for brain disease modeling and drug discovery. However, they are often limited in recapitulating complex cellular/extracellular interactions and physiological aspects in the human brain.

To overcome such limitations of current models, we have developed a brain-on-a-chip with organoids and microfluidics. Human brain organoids generated with a brain extracellular matrix and microfluidic device could reconstitute structural and physiological features of neuroepithelium development and corticogenesis, which can be used for neurodegenerative disease modeling.

We have also established a neurovascular unit chip with functional blood-brain-barrier for modeling infectious brain diseases. Our strategy using brain-on-a-chip with cerebral organoids and neurovascular units would be able to facilitate elucidation of brain disease mechanisms and development of novel therapeutics.

Bio:

Dr. Seungwoo Cho is the Underwood Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. He holds his PhD, MS, and BS degrees in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University, as well as postdoctoral associate work at MIT.  He has served on the faculty of MIT, the Institute of Basic Science, and Yonsei University, where he also served as Associate Dean of the College of Life Science & Biotechnology.

In 2022, he was awarded Scientist of the Month from the Ministry of Science and ICT. In 2017, he was one of the 100 Technologies and Key Engineers for the Year 2025 at the National Academy of Engineering of Korea, and received an Overseas Research Fellowship from the LG Yonam Foundation. Cho has served on the editorial boards for Tissue EngineeringTissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, and Nano Convergence, and edited Biomaterials Research and Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering. he has peer reviewd 186 articles, has 123 pending/filed patents, 5 technology transfers, and a total of 10,522 citations on Google Scholar.

The overall goal of Cho’s research is to develop functional stem cell therapeutics and tissue-engineered products using various bioengineering platforms including biomaterials, nanomaterials, drug delivery, and microfluidics. His research has focused on improving therapeutic and regenerative efficacy of stem cells and reprogrammed cells for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, neuronal disorders, fibrosis, and tissue injuries. Recently, his lab’s biomedical engineering platforms have been applied for organoid engineering to overcome the limitations of current organoid technologies such as immaturity, batch variation, low reproducibility, and scale-up issues.

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