In Vitro Neurotoxicity Assays Using Neural Cell Cultures

Period of Performance: 01/15/1993 - 08/14/1994


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Connecticut Area Biotechnology Advisers
West Hartford, CT 06119
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (Adapted from applicant's abstract): Cell loss impairs neurological function and results in permanent disabilities which are a serious medical problem. This project seeks to overcome the limitations of current in vitro systems by employing a novel culture strategy to measure neurotoxicity. Nitrocellulose membranes are used as the culture substratum and to separate feeder cells, which in turn provide metabolic support for neurons and glia and establish cell/cell interactions needed for drug activity. The specific aims of this project are to 1) prepare neuronal and glial cultures from different regions of the nervous system, 2) compare cell growth using different culture techniques, 3) establish assays to measure cell survival after proliferation, and 4) compare the effects of chemicals and drugs on nerve cultures. Commercialization of this research meets demands in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries for in vitro alternatives to testing in whole animals.Most chemicals in commercial use have not been evaluated for neurotoxicity and many drugs have the potential for causing neurodegenerative and demyelinating diseases.