Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 5;12(1):4730. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24775-5.
Brain organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells provide a highly valuable in vitro model to recapitulate human brain development and neurological diseases. However, the current systems for brain organoid culture require further improvement for the reliable production of high-quality organoids. Here, we demonstrate two engineering elements to improve human brain organoid culture, (1) a human brain extracellular matrix to provide brain-specific cues and (2) a microfluidic device with periodic flow to improve the survival and reduce the variability of organoids. A three-dimensional culture modified with brain extracellular matrix significantly enhanced neurogenesis in developing brain organoids from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Cortical layer development, volumetric augmentation, and electrophysiological function of human brain organoids were further improved in a reproducible manner by dynamic culture in microfluidic chamber devices. Our engineering concept of reconstituting brain-mimetic microenvironments facilitates the development of a reliable culture platform for brain organoids, enabling effective modeling and drug development for human brain diseases.