"Mini-brains" for research on Alzheimer's disease

Researchers from SEPIA (François Jacob Institute of Biology) and CellTechs (Sup'Biotech engineering school), working in partnership with LEMM (Frédéric Joliot Institute for Life Sciences), all within or affiliated with the CEA, have developed a new approach for modeling Alzheimer's disease in vitro using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Their work builds upon the ability of iPSCs to differentiate into "mini-brains", that is, three-dimensional cellular structures recapitulating human brain development. 

This novel method using iPSCs to create pathological mini-brains and simulate aspects of the complexity of cerebral tissue opens new vistas for research in Alzheimer's disease. The in vitro modelling approach will advance the scientific and medical community's understanding of the disease, enable the identification of markers for early diagnosis and empower the development of new therapies. It will also likely constitute an alternative to animal models for certain steps in the study of the disease.
This technological miniaturization furthermore suggests a broad range of possibilities for the development and validation of tomorrow's innovative, targeted medicines and therapeutic strategies.