Review Article

Integrating mass spectrometry with microphysiological systems for improved neurochemical studies

Emily G. Tillmaand, Jonathan V. Sweedler


Microphysiological systems, often referred to as “organs-on-chips”, are in vitro platforms designed to model the spatial, chemical, structural, and physiological elements of in vivo cellular environments. They enhance the evaluation of complex engineered biological systems and are a step between traditional cell culture and in vivo experimentation. As neurochemists and measurement scientists studying the molecules involved in intercellular communication in the nervous system, we focus here on recent advances in neuroscience using microneurological systems and their potential to interface with mass spectrometry (MS). We discuss a number of examples—microfluidic devices, spheroid cultures, hydrogels, scaffolds, and fibers—highlighting those that would benefit from mass spectrometric technologies to obtain improved chemical information.

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