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Neurotoxicity testing 

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Why us

Our NANOSTACKSTM-based in vitro models recapitulate the cell-cell crosstalk and spatial cellular arrangement typical of the in vivo environment. This way, toxicity screening on our models can yield more in-vivo relevant results than the use of traditional models.

Model Specifications

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The model is built on 2 layers, using our proprietary technology NANOSTACKS™

  • Layer 1: Glial component
  • Cell type: U-138 MG
  • U-138 MG cells are an astrocytoma cell line used in the model to model a glial, astrocyte-like component.
  • Layer 2: Neuronal component 
  • Cell type: differentiated SH-SY5Y* 
  • Differentiated SH-SY5Y cells recapituate aspects of human neurons, and are frequently used in neuroscience and toxicology research. * SH-SY5Y are also available in undifferentiated form. 



Neurite outgrowth assays

Contact us for alternative endpoints.


Application Note

Application Note: Development of an in vitro model of the human brain using CELLSTAKS™

In this application note a novel in vitro model of the human brain, comprising 1321N1 cells in addition to undifferentiated or differentiated SH-SY5Y cells, was developed using NANOSTACKS™. This study revealed heightened neurotoxicity of the compound methylglyoxal on the brain model including undifferentiated SH-SY5Y, as compared to monocultures of undifferentiated SH-SY5Y. Furthermore, an assessment of the neurotoxicity of the drug clomipramine was conducted by performing a neurite outgrowth assay on the model including differentiated SH-SY5Y, demonstrating the compatibility of NANOSTACKS™ with imaging-based toxicity assays.

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Unique Benefits

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Human relevant

All cells included in the model are of human origin

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Intercellular communication

Cell-cell crosstalk is replicated in the model, increasing its similarity to the in vivo environment

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Adult neurons model

Differentiated SH-SY5Y models the inclusion of mature adult neurons, increasing the in vivo relevance of the model and allowing the performance of neurite outgrowth assays

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Astrocytic support

The presence of astrocytes, which in vivo provide trophic support to neurons, is modeled by the inclusion of 1321N1, increasing the neurobiological relevance of the model

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Differential toxicity evaluation

Toxicity can be evaluated on each individual cell type included in the model

Get in Touch

Explore how our models support your research studies

Alternative solutions

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Alternatively to performing our services within our facilities, we can also ship our validated organ models directly to you lab ready for immediate use.

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We can develop custom organ models using our NANOSTACKSTM 'Plug&Play' technology based on your requirements.

Need some help?

If you're interested in discovering how  our organ models can benefit your research, we invite you to get in touch with us. Our team is available to provide further insights and address any inquiries you may have.

Contact information


Daresbury Laboratory, Sci-Tech Daresbury, Keckwick Lane Daresbury, Cheshire, WA4 4AD




BioLabs@NYU LANGONE, 180 Varick St, Floor 6, New York, NY 10014


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