A04 The role of mechanics in orchestrating neural lineage decisions

A04 aims to uncover the role of mechanics in steering human neural stem cell lineage decisions, neuron formation, and neuronal migration in brain organoids, a 3D model for early human brain development derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. Artificial brain tissue engineered to quantitatively tune the physical properties of the environment brain organoids are exposed to will be used to determine the effects of mechanical properties on cellular processes governing brain development. Characterisation of tissue composition will reveal the aggregated effect of the impact on proliferation, differentiation, migration, and the organisation of brain organoid-resident cells. Time-lapse imaging following single neural stem cells and their progeny will be used to temporally resolve the changes induced on a cellular level and allows to reveal the influence of a given physical environment on NSC lineage decisions and alterations in neuronal migration patterns. To uncover the molecular framework relaying changes in the physical environment to alterations in cellular behaviour we will employ single cell RNA-sequencing and functionally assess associated key nodes in developmental neurogenesis.


Project leader: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Marisa Karow/Dr. Sven Falk

Positions: 1 doctoral researcher