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"A Human Stem Cell-based MIniaturised Controlled Organoid (MiCO) Platform for Investigating Neurological Disorders"

The MiCO Platform project (2020-2023) developed miniaturized controlled neuronal organoids, MiCOs, generated from human stem cells. These minibrains mimic either the fore-, mid- or hindbrain of their larger human counterparts. There are many advantages of the micro brains - for instance they are:

  • Fast and easy to produce
  • Consistent from batch to batch
  • Small enough for high-througput screening 

The microbrains can model neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or ALS and the above mentioned qualities make them ideal for reproducing results in e.g., drug candidate screenings.

Below, you can watch a video recorded at the beginning of the MiCO Platform project, which describes the project's aim. You can also read an article on the output of the project and you can find lists of project participants and articles published by the MiCO Platform team.

THE MiCO Platform TEAM

Academic team members

  • Mark Denham, Assoc. Professor, Aarhus University
  • Daniel Otzen, Professor, Aarhus University
  • Muwan Chen, Assist. Professor, Aarhus University

Industrial team members

  • Jonathan Niclis, Novo Nordisk  
  • Morten Venø, omiics 

"The MiCO platform presents a valid model for applications like drug screening potency assessments, and co-culture optimization.

Overall, our results from the MiCO Platform project demonstrate the utility of the MiCO system for drug screening or as in vitro potency assays for cell therapies."


Mark Denham, Head of the MiCO Platform project

"The MiCO platform project allowed us to study and probe our emerging stem cell therapies as well as our traditional pharmacological compounds at a greater detail. 

The platform also enables us to test drugs in a human in vitro model and thus ultimately reduce the amount of time, costs and animals used in our projects."


Jonathan Niclis, Principal Scientist and Project Leader at Novo Nordisk


  1. Chen M et al. 2023. Protocol for generating reproducible miniaturized controlled midbrain organoids. STAR STAR Protoc.15;4(3):102451. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xpro.2023.102451


We unite right minds from industry and academia so that they can jointly create need-driven research projects - and pave the way for innovative new treatments in the future. Through competitive funding calls, we fund the best projects ideas. Although companies cannot receive funding, it is free of charge to join.

The 5-year platform is sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Foundation with 180 M DKK from 2024-2028.


You are always welcome to reach out if you have questions or comments. Reach out to odin@au.dk or find the Secretariat's direct email addresses under contacts.

Although we're spanning five Danish universities, we're based in Aarhus. Our office is located at Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 121, blg 1521-216.