Compartmental culture of embryonic stem cell-derived neurons in microfluidic devices for use in axonal biology

Hwa Sung Shin, Hyung Joon Kim, Seul Ki Min, Sung Hoon Kim, Byung Man Lee, Noo Li Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Axonal pathology has been clearly implicated in neurodegenerative diseases making the compartmental culture of neurons a useful research tool. Primary neurons have already been cultured in compartmental microfluidic devices but their derivation from an animal is a time-consuming and difficult work and has a limit in their sources. Embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived neurons (ESC_Ns) overcome this limit, since ESCs can be renewed without limit and can be differentiated into ESC_Ns by robust and reproducible protocols. In this research, ESC_Ns were derived from mouse ESCs in compartmental microfluidic devices, and their axons were isolated from the somal cell bodies. Once embryoid bodies (EBs) were localized in the microfluidic culture chamber, ESC_Ns spread out from the EBs and occupied the cell culture chamber. Their axons traversed the microchannels and finally were isolated from the somata, providing an arrangement comparable to dissociated primary neurons. This ESC_N compartmental microfluidic culture system not only offers a substitute for the primary neuron counterpart system but also makes it possible to make comparisons between the two systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1070
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Axonal biology
  • Axonal isolation
  • Compartmental culture
  • Embryonic stem cell
  • Microfluidic
  • Neuronal differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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