Cx3D is a tool for simulating the growth of cortex in 3D developed at the Institute of Neuroinformatics of the University of Zürich and ETH Zürich.
The following video generated from Cx3D was shown at the BIO-ICT Convergence Workshop in Brussels on 25th February 2010.
It shows the simulation of the lamination of a column of mouse cerebral cortex.
We simulated the production of a laminated column of mouse cerebral cortex starting with one single precursor cell, which contains the instruction code. In the first stage, the cell divides symmetrically and forms the neural epithelium. Cells of the neural epithelium undergo asymmetrical divisions to generate layer I cells (yellow) and then subplate cells (light grey), whereas the cells at the bottom differentiate into radial glial cells and generate growing fibers.
In the second phase, dividing cells in the ventricular zones differentiate into sub-populations of excitatory neurons and migrate along the radial glial fibers into the cortical plate. The neurons follow a guidance cue secreted by the cells in Layer I, which causes the inside-out formation of the different Layers (VI-V-IV-II/III).
Once the laminar structure is layed out, we simulate the tangential migration of a few inhibitory cells. Both excitatory and inhibitory cells grow neurites according to their specific cell type and the chemicals found in their local environment.
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This simulation shows randomly arranged neurons (in 2D) making synaptic contacts with each other by using axon retraction and arborization. The purple cells are inhibitory neurons which (like certain basket-cell types) have denser and more spatially restricted arborizations than the excitatory cells shown in red.
Cx3D is distributed under the GNU General Public License version 3:
Cx3D is a tool for simulating the growth of cortex in 3D.
Copyright (C) 2009, 2010 Universität Zürich, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich, Andreas Hauri, Roman Bauer, & Toby Weston.
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
All enquiries about Cx3D should be directed to Gabriela Michel.
Cx3D has been developed with the support of the
SECO EU Project (EU grant 216593).