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4th Workshop on Neuroengineering: brain-on-a-chip platforms
4-5 April 2024 | i3S – Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde

In recent years, brain-on-a-chip platforms have emerged as very promising tools to recapitulate important features of brain structure and function within miniaturized and engineered devices. In this workshop, we will discuss the most recent advances in the field, ranging from microfabrication to brain-on-a-chip applications in disease modeling. This workshop aims at promoting an intellectually stimulating environment where new ideas can be exchanged and new collaborations can be forged. By integrating hands-on practical sessions, the workshop also gives the possibility for the interested participants to try basic techniques used in neuroengineering.
This 4th edition of the WoN includes 3 selected short-talks from students and junior researchers, as well as a poster session. We thus invite the participants to submit their recent work on neuroengineering, particularly on brain-on-a-chip platforms.

Organizers: Paulo Aguiar, Miguel Aroso, José Mateus

Target audience:

Researchers and students (MSc and PhD) working in neuroscience/neurobiology, biomedical engineering, biophysics, and related fields. The hands-on practical sessions are targeted for students (MSc and PhD) but are in fact open to everyone. Every practical session has a duration of 3h and each participant can only choose (register) one hands-on practical session.


The workshop will be held at i3S – Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde.

Rua Alfredo Allen, 208; 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
Tel: +351 226 074 900 | E-mail:
GPS coordinates: 41º 10’ 30.008’’ N, 8º 36’ 12.488’’ W.


First day | 4th April 2024

09:45 Welcome Coffee

10:00 Microelectrode arrays and microfluidics for the recording of reconstructed neuronal junctions and organoids
Benoît Charlot, CNRS and University of Montpellier, France

10:45 BrainChip4Med – a brain-on-a-chip platform to screen smart nanomedicines to treat neurodegenerative diseases
Raquel Rodrigues, University of Minho, Portugal

11:30 Studying axonal development through a neuromuscular synapse on a chip
Ramiro Almeida, iBiMED and CNC, Portugal

12:15 Lunch 

14:00 Engineering Forebrain Organoids from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Modeling Rett Syndrome (RTT)
Margarida Diogo, iBB and IST, Portugal

14:45 Selected Oral | Improving central nervous system regeneration with the use of electrical stimulation
Fábio F. F. Garrudo, IT and IST-iBB, Portugal

15:00 Selected Oral | BBB-on-a-chip: a platform for drug screening against brain diseases
Beatriz T. Simões, IMM, Portugal
15:15 Selected Oral | Disrupting abnormal neuronal oscillations with adaptive delayed feedback control
Domingos L. Castro, i3S, Portugal

15:30 Meet the Speakers & Coffee Break

16:15 Posters

16:45 Modeling peripheral innervation of physio-pathological bioengineered microtissues
Estrela Neto, i3S, Portugal

17:30 Leveraging spontaneous activity in human stem cell-derived neurons to model neurodevelopmental disorders
Nael Nadif Kasri, Radboud University, Netherlands

18:15 Concluding Remarks


Second day | 5th April 2024

09:30-12:30 Hands-on practical morning session

14:00-17:00 Hands-on practical afternoon session



Hands-on Practical Sessions

The hands-on sessions will take place as long as the minimum number of participants is reached (2).

S1 – Basics of Neuronal Cell Cultures. This session is intended to provide introductory training in the basic requirements for successful cell culturing. With this hands-on training session, the participants will get acquainted with a number of valuable resources and guidelines required to maintain a cell culture. [Responsible: Ana Marote, NCN/i3S].

S2 - Preparation of brain-on-a-chip platforms. Brain-on-a-chip platforms have been increasingly used in neuroscience, as they allow to mimic neural circuits through spatial and/or fluidic compartmentalization of cells, as well as to model several neuropathological scenarios. During this session, participants will be introduced to brain-on-a-chip platforms and will be able to prepare their own microfluidic devices. [Responsible: Sara Silva, NCN/i3S]

S3 – Memristive artificial synapses: from device principles to neuromorphic applications. Neuromorphic devices, such as memristors, use the brain's structure and operation principles as a promising solution for modern computational storage and processing demands. This session will provide an introduction to the memristor, followed by the electrical characterization of some devices. [Responsible: Catarina Dias, IFIMUP].

S4 – Introduction to NEURON – in silico neuroscience and detailed simulations of neurons in a computer. This session gives an introduction to the NEURON simulation environment, a well-established tool for in silico neuroscience. Participants will learn how to perform biophysically detailed simulations of single neurons and small neuronal circuits. Participants are requested to bring their laptops for this session. [Responsible: Paulo Aguiar, NCN/i3S].

S5 – Principles of microelectrode arrays (MEA) electrophysiology. Microelectrode array (MEA) technology enables electrophysiological recording and/or stimulation of hundreds of neurons simultaneously. In this session, the participants will get acquainted with the principles of MEA experiments and have the possibility to evoke and record extracellular signals from neuronal networks. [Responsible: José Mateus, NCN/i3S].

S6 – Imaging neuronal activity with Calcium dyes. Calcium dyes are used to monitor neuronal activity by assessing the resulting intracellular changes in Ca2+ concentration. In this session, participants will have the opportunity to image neuronal cell cultures labeled with a calcium dye and analyze the acquired data with software developed in-house. [Responsible: Miguel Aroso, NCN/i3S].


Benoît Charlot
CNRS and University of Montpellier, France



Raquel Rodrigues
University of Minho, Portugal



Ramiro Almeida
iBiMED and CNC, Portugal


Margarida Diogo
iBB and IST, Portugal



Estrela Neto
i3S, Portugal



Nael Nadif Kasri
Radboud University, Netherlands


Abstract Submission

This 4th edition of the WoN will include 3 selected short-talks from students and junior researchers, as well as a poster session. We thus invite the participants to submit their recent work on neuroengineering, specifically on brain-on-a-chip platforms.

Your submitted Abstract should be 1 page PDF with no more than 500 words but may include figures.

The call for abstracts will be open until 12th January 2024 (notification of acceptance until 19th January 2024).

Abstract template >>

Abstract submission form >>


A participant can register for the lectures only (4th April 2024) or for both lectures and one hands-on session. The registration fees include the coffee breaks and lunch (4th April 2024 only) and the necessary hands-on session materials. Please notice that the number of seats is limited (for both lectures and practical sessions). Participation will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis, upon confirmation of registration fee payment. The time slot (morning or afternoon) for each practical session is subject to confirmation. This information will be provided to the participants upon registration.

Registration deadline: 8th March 2024 | Payment deadline: 8th March 2024

Lectures only: 75€
Full workshop (Lectures & 1 Hands-On Session): 100€


Registration form >>


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Events Management Unit | Rua Alfredo Allen 208 | 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
Email: | Tel: +351 226 074 900