The Cervell(s) exhibition at the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) takes us into the brain anatomy and everything it generates: consciousness, abstract thought, language, imagination, dreams, and memory. The exhibition also investigates other minds beyond humans: artificial, animal, or collective intelligence, as well as those of organisms without a brain.
The exhibition presents around 300 pieces, including immersive installations of contemporary art, audiovisual works, pieces from historical collections, and results of brain research projects. This is the case of the stand where part of the research of Dr. Sandra Acosta, principal investigator of the Neurodevelopmental Disorders group at IDIBELL and the University of Barcelona, is presented.
The stand is in the area of new intelligence, in the section on synthetic structures, and it exhibits the organoids of human neurons generated by the same research group.
To create organoids, they convert human stem cells into organized three-dimensional arrays, or organoids, that mimic the structure and function of organs. These mini-organs have characteristics much more similar to in vivo conditions than traditional two-dimensional cell cultures. This makes organoids an exceptional system for studying the development and formation of the brain, among other organs and tissues, in the laboratory.
In Dr. Acosta’s group, brain organoids derived from human stem cells are used as a model to study brain development and associated diseases through epigenetic, transcriptomic, or advanced microscopy analyses, among others. Currently, they study diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, or cognitive disorders derived from long-COVID.
The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).