Contract Research and Business Collaboration

Neurodegeneration is our challenge! We can provide custom service research for academic groups, small and medium sized enterprises, and  pharmaceutical industry. 

Principal Investigators:

  • Andrii Domanskyi, andrii.domanskyi(at)helsinki.fi
  • Mikko Airavaara, mikko.airavaara(at)helsinki.fi

Motto: Novel Ideas, collaboration, hard work and reproducible results move us towards groundbreaking findings and novel therapies!

Ageing increases the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases and stroke leading to severe deficits in life quality. The loss of neuronal populations in the brain is caused by various stressors and the ageing process itself. We have set up unique models and experimental tools (e.g. ischemia models, primary and human in vitro cell culture models, various Parkinson’s disease models, lentivirus and adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, CRISPR-Cas9, etc.) enabling search for novel ways to protect and restore neuronal networks. Our ultimate goal to develop novel treatments for diseases such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease. Using our extensive experience in established in vivo and in vitro models, we study novel drugs, neurotrophic factors, and non-coding RNAs with neuroprotective and neurorestorative properties. We utilize cutting edge in vivo models and also develop novel in vivo neurodegeneration models with virus- and CRISPR-Cas9-mediated transgenesis aiming to better approximate of clinical conditions and to study related disease-modifying processes. Using unique models on primary cells, we study the potential of neural stem cells and astrocytes to acquire neuronal phenotype, replace and restore lost neurons.

 

Table. We have established an extensive and unique set of in vivo and in vitro tools to study neurodegeneration. We collaborate and provide service to academia and companies. We offer consulting and experiment design, custom made experiments, data analysis, and research reports.

In vivo In vitro

Molecular biology, histology and biochemical assays

Cutting edge Parkinson's disease research

  • Toxin (6-OHDA, MPTP, lactacystin)-based models

  •  α-synuclein fibril models

  • genetically engineered models (Dicer1, Tif1a1 knockouts)

  • Studies with environmental enrichment

Lentiviral vectors to overexpress proteins and knock out from primary cell cultures.

CRISPR-Cas9-based mutagenesis and transgenesis

Models of cortical ischemic brain injury

Primary neuronal cultures (hippocampal, cortical, dopamine)

Packaging and purification of lentiviral vectors with various promoters for in vitro and in vivo use

Model of traumatic brain injury

Primary neuronal stem cell, microglia and astrocyte cultures

Whole slide scanning with digital microscopy

Behavioral assessment of neurological deficits (grip strength, rotarod, open field, cylinder test, neurological scores)

Transwell assay to study migration of migroglia and astrocytes

In-house developed computational cell counting and cell morphology analysis

Tissue-specific and inducible gene knockouts

Anoxia, hypoxia and glucose deprivation models

Medium throughput assays for screening compounds affecting proliferation of neural stem cells and survival of primary neurons

Gene expression targeting to the peri-infarct tissue after stroke (in house developed method)

 

High-content image analysis

Extensive expertise in using AAV (including Cre-dependent vectors) and lentiviral vectors in vivo

 

MicroRNA and mRNA expression analysis