ECS_THE_Spoke8_AIMH -CUP B83C22003930001
ECS - Tuscany Health Ecosystem Spoke 8 - Tuscany Health Environment
The objective of this spoke is to leverage the existing critical mass of neuroscientists in Tuscany, which has a long and well-established tradition and strength and a vast breadth of highly specialized expertise and tools, integrating it with the recruitment of a diverse set of interdisciplinary knowledge, ranging from chemistry to computational sciences, data sciences, synthetic biology, bioinformatics, high-throughput analysis of gene expression (-omics), imaging and others. Due to its intrinsic multidisciplinary nature, the spoke will naturally have strong links with other spokes in the overall project.
ISTI is active in particular Sub-project 8 - Patient-derived stem cells and “brain-in-a-dish” cultures: a cellular platform for target validation and drug screening. The aim of this sub-project is to establish cell cultures of neurons from patients of Retinite Pigmentosa (RP) and Autism Spectrum Diseases (ASD) aimed at their diagnosis by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and at their pharmacological and cell therapy. Moreover, solutions will also be developed to use Cultured Neuronal Networks (CultNN), that is biological cultures of real neuronal cells or brain-in-a-dish, to execute Artificial Intelligence (AI) tasks. CultNN will be directly used for AI, rather than bioinspired devices or software implementations of neural networks. To do so, CultNN of neurons derived from patient reprogrammed cells (hiPSCs) will be established, and computational models of the neural activity-designed AI training methods will be developed to be applied to CultNN. Finally, imaging solutions will be developed, based on AI, to analyze the pupil area and the retina, and CultNN used to screen for drug panels and validate targets.