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J Neural Eng. 2012 Jun;9(3):036010. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/9/3/036010. Epub 2012 May 22.

Functional connectivity and dynamics of cortical-thalamic networks co-cultured in a dual compartment device.

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  • 1Minimally Invasive Healthcare Department, Philips Research Laboratories Eindhoven, High Tech Campus 34.023, 5656 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands. thiru.kanagasabapathi@philips.com


Co-cultures containing dissociated cortical and thalamic cells may provide a unique model for understanding the pathophysiology in the respective neuronal sub-circuitry. In addition, developing an in vitro dissociated co-culture model offers the possibility of studying the system without influence from other neuronal sub-populations. Here we demonstrate a dual compartment system coupled to microelectrode arrays (MEAs) for co-culturing and recording spontaneous activities from neuronal sub-populations. Propagation of electrical activities between cortical and thalamic regions and their interdependence in connectivity is verified by means of a cross-correlation algorithm. We found that burst events originate in the cortical region and drive the entire cortical-thalamic network bursting behavior while mutually weak thalamic connections play a relevant role in sustaining longer burst events in cortical cells. To support these experimental findings, a neuronal network model was developed and used to investigate the interplay between network dynamics and connectivity in the cortical-thalamic system.

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