Maria Stancescu

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Functional in vitro models composed of human cells will constitute an important platform in the next generation of system biology and drug discovery. This study reports a novel human-based in vitro Neuromuscular Junction (NMJ) system developed in a defined serum-free medium and on a patternable non-biological surface. The motoneurons and skeletal muscles(More)
Neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation, occurring between motoneurons and skeletal muscle, is a complex multistep process involving a variety of signaling molecules and pathways. In vitro motoneuron-muscle co-cultures are powerful tools to study the role of different growth factors, hormones and cellular structures involved in NMJ formation. In this study,(More)
To date, the coculture of motoneurons (MNs) and skeletal muscle in a defined in vitro system has only been described in one study and that was between rat MNs and rat skeletal muscle. No in vitro studies have demonstrated human MN to rat muscle synapse formation, although numerous studies have attempted to implant human stem cells into rat models to(More)
Cardiac side effects are one of the major causes of drug candidate failures in preclinical drug development or in clinical trials and are responsible for the retraction of several already marketed therapeutics. Thus, the development of a relatively high-throughput, high information content tool to screen drugs and toxins would be important in the field of(More)
Stem cells from umbilical cord would be a favorable alternative to embryonic stem cells for therapeutic applications. In this study, human multipotent progenitor cells (MLPCs) from umbilical cord were differentiated into oligodendrocytes by exposure to a range of microenvironmental chemical and physical cues. Chemical cues were represented by a novel(More)
Although the majority of human illnesses occur during adulthood, most of the available in vitro disease models are based upon cells obtained from embryonic/fetal tissues because of the difficulties involved with culturing adult cells. Development of adult mouse neuronal cultures has a special significance because of the abundance of transgenic disease(More)
In vitro human skeletal muscle systems are valuable tools for the study of human muscular development, disease and treatment. However, published in vitro human muscle systems have so far only demonstrated limited differentiation capacities. Advanced differentiation features such as cross-striations and contractility have only been observed in co-cultures(More)
The sensory circuit of the stretch reflex arc is composed of intrafusal muscle fibers and their innervating proprioceptive neurons that convert mechanical information regarding muscle length and tension into action potentials that synapse onto the homonymous motoneurons in the ventral spinal cord which innervate the extrafusal fibers of the same muscle. To(More)
Chemically defined surfaces were created using self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of hydrophobic and hydrophilic silanes as models for implant coatings, and the morphology and physiology of cardiac myocytes plated on these surfaces were studied in vitro. We focused on changes in intracellular Ca(2+) because of its essential role in regulating heart cell(More)
This article details the construction and testing of a phenotypic assay system that models in vivo cardiac function in a parallel in vitro environment with human stem cell derived cardiomyocytes. The major determinants of human whole-heart function were experimentally modeled by integrating separate 2D cellular systems with BioMicroelectromechanical Systems(More)