Background and activities

Research interests

The main research interest of our group is the study and elucidation of neuroplasticity mechanisms in the context of CNS damage and repair. Specifically, we model and investigate dynamic structure-function relationships in neuronal assemblies in healthy and perturbed conditions with the goal of identifying and engaging key aspects of complex neural network behaviour that determine adaptive or maladaptive neuroplasticity in the lesioned CNS, including injury and neurodegenerative disease.

Ongoing research activities focus on CNS lesion modelling through the integration of advanced theoretical concepts and interdisciplinary methods and tools. Apart from in vivo models, we work with in vitro and computational models that recapitulate and exploit fundamental attributes of biological neural networks, including self-organization over time into assemblies of increasing structural complexity, with concomitant emergence of complex functional dynamics.

Our working hypotheses are based on the relevance of specific identifiable network topologies as well as patterns of synaptic transmission for the functional capacity of a network in terms of plasticity, learning, and adaptability and, by the same token, for the initiation and spread of lesion-related pathologies in vivo and in vitro.

These research activities are coupled to clinical research by our group investigating dynamic neuroplasticity using connectomics and transcriptional analyses. 

Selected publications 2018-date

Group leader, Integrative Neuroscience Group, Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, NTNU; Steering committee member for the Morphogenetic Engineering R&D Stream, NTNU and for NTNU Nano. Leader Translational Neuroscience Clinical-Academic Research Group (CARG). Leader Translational Neuroscience Clinical-Academic Group (CAG) for Alzheimer´s Disease

Sandvig group - Integrative Neuroscience                        

Translational Neuroscience Clinical-Academic Research group

Translational Neuroscience Clinical-Academic Group (CAG) for Alzheimer´s Disease


Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database




  • Bauer, Ulrich Stefan; van de Wijdeven, Rosanne Francisca; Nair Raveendran, Rajeevkumar; Fiskum, Vegard; Kentros, Clifford; Sandvig, Ioanna; Sandvig, Axel. (2019) Modelling functional human neuromuscular junctions in a differentially-perturbable microfluidic environment, validated through recombinant monosynaptic pseudotyped ΔG-rabies virus tracing. BioRxiv.
  • Bauer, Ulrich Stefan; van de Wijdeven, Rosanne Francisca; Nair Raveendran, Rajeevkumar; Sandvig, Ioanna; Sandvig, Axel. (2019) Developing an engineered neural network model to use in the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 3rd Nordic Neuroscience Meeting ; Helsinki. 2019-06-12 - 2019-06-14.
  • Bjorkli, Christiana; Sandvig, Ioanna; Sandvig, Axel; Kentros, Clifford; Witter, Menno; Kobro-Flatmoen, Asgeir. (2019) Linking molecular biomarkers and behaviour in animal models and humans with Alzheimer´s disease. 3rd Nordic Neuroscience Meeting ; Helsinki. 2019-06-12 - 2019-06-14.
  • Christiansen, Nicholas; Nichele, Stefano; Tufte, Gunnar; Sandvig, Ioanna; Sandvig, Axel. (2019) Using computer models to infer disease pathology in in vitro models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 3rd Nordic Neuroscience Meeting ; Helsinki. 2019-06-12 - 2019-06-14.
  • Hanssen, Katrine Sjaastad; Kobro-Flatmoen, Asgeir; Sandvig, Ioanna; Sandvig, Axel; Witter, Menno. (2019) Establishing entorhinal cortex layer II neuron cultures as a tool for the investigation of early Alzheimer's disease related changes. 3rd Nordic Neuroscience Meeting 2019 . Nordic Neuroscience; Helsinki. 2019-06-12 - 2019-06-14.
  • Heiney, Kristine; Huse Ramstad, Ola; Sandvig, Ioanna; Sandvig, Axel; Nichele, Stefano. (2019) Assessment and manipulation of the computational capacity of in vitro neuronal networks through criticality in neuronal avalanches. IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence: Symposium on Artificial Life ; Xiamen. 2019-12-06 - 2019-12-09.
  • Heiney, Kristine; Valderhaug, Vibeke Devold; Huse Ramstad, Ola; Sandvig, Ioanna; Sandvig, Axel; Tufte, Gunnar; Hammer, Hugo Lewi; Nichele, Stefano. (2019) Evaluation of the criticality of in vitro neuronal networks: Toward an assessment of computational capacity. IEEE ICDL-EpiRob 2019 - Workshop on Novel Substrates and Models for the Emergence of Developmental, Learning and Cognitive Capabilities . Stefano Nichele & Jianhua Zhang; Oslo. 2019-08-19 - 2019-08-19.
  • Huse Ramstad, Ola; van de Wijdeven, Rosanne Francisca; Heiney, Kristine; Nichele, Stefano; Sandvig, Ioanna; Sandvig, Axel. (2019) Mapping functional response to axotomy in a reductionist corticospinal network. 3rd Nordic neuroscience Meeting ; Helsinki. 2019-06-12 - 2019-06-14.
  • Knudsen, Martinius; Hendseth, Sverre; Tufte, Gunnar; Sandvig, Axel. (2019) Viewing Rate-Based Neurons as Biophysical Conductance Outputting Models. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS). vol. 11493 LNCS.
  • Mello, Gustavo Borges Moreno E; Valderhaug, Vibeke Devold; Pontes-Filho, Sidney; Zouganeli, Evi; Huse Ramstad, Ola; Sandvig, Axel; Sandvig, Ioanna; Nichele, Stefano. (2019) Method to obtain neuromorphic reservoir networks from images of in vitro cortical networks. 2019 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence: IEEE Symposium on Neuromorphic Cognitive Computing (IEEE SNCC) ; 2019-12-06 - 2019-12-09.
  • Sandvig, Axel; Sandvig, Ioanna. (2019) Connectomics of morphogenetically engineered neurons as a predictor of functional integration in the ischemic brain. Frontiers in Neurology. vol. 10.
  • Schiro, Lars Erik; Bauer, Ulrich Stefan; Tufte, Gunnar; Sandvig, Axel; Sandvig, Ioanna. (2019) Alterations in functional spinal cord circuitry in response to injury. 3rd Nordic Neuroscience Meeting ; Helsinki. 2019-06-12 - 2019-06-14.
  • Valderhaug, Vibeke Devold; Glomm, Wilhelm; Sandru, Eugenia-Mariana; Yasuda, Masahiro; Sandvig, Axel; Sandvig, Ioanna. (2019) Formation of neural networks with structural and functional features consistent with small-world network topology on surface-grafted polymer particles. Royal Society Open Science. vol. 6 (10).
  • van de Wijdeven, Rosanne Francisca; Huse Ramstad, Ola; Valderhaug, Vibeke Devold; Köllensperger, Peter; Sandvig, Axel; Sandvig, Ioanna; Halaas, Øyvind. (2019) A novel lab-on-chip platform enabling axotomy and neuromodulation in a multi-nodal network. Biosensors & bioelectronics. vol. 140:111329.
  • Weir, Janelle Shari; Valderhaug, Vibeke Devold; Sandvig, Axel; Sandvig, Ioanna. (2019) Structural and functional dynamics of healthy and perturbed neural networks in vitro. 3rd Nordic neuroscience Meeting . University of Helsinki; 2019-06-12 - 2019-06-14.