This technology includes a method for creating functional, brain region-specific neural spheroids that can be used for disease modeling and therapeutic testing of compounds for neurological diseases. The developed protocol uses somatic cells, including iPSC-derived neurons, as well as astrocytes using means such as 96- or 384-well ultra-low attachment round-bottom plates. Spheroids have been generated using this method that model brain regions such as the ventral tegmental area and prefrontal cortex, which are implicated in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Three-dimensional spheroids provide a more physiologically relevant context for disease modeling and compound testing for neurological disorders compared to two-dimensional in vitro culture models. The included technology expands the scope of spheroids that can readily be created, allowing for high-throughput modeling and drug testing of additional brain regions and diseases.