The researchers grew neural network in human stem cells

The study of the nervous system of higher animals is no easy task. Especially if we are talking about the study of the human brain. To obtain the required material is obtained very rarely. Recently, however, neuroscientists are pretty well learned to deal with stem cells and it is through this group of experts from tufts University (Massachusetts) raised one of the most advanced modern biological neural networks.

According to the editors of ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, the new work is based on the previous, in which scientists studying the neurons of rodents have successfully grown 3D model of the brain. For this they used induced pluripotent stem cells, which allowed us to create a variety of tissue culture, which includes not only the usual neurons, but astroglial cells, which interact among themselves and formed neural network. According to one of the authors of the work of David Kaplan,

“We found suitable conditions for stem cells differentiate into different subtypes that support the growth and development of neural networks.”


Cultured cells and tissues of the neural network

The new approach is based on creating a “frame” in the form of fibrin and fibrinogen, which is the distribution of the cells. This allows to directly integrate pluripotent stem cells in three-dimensional design, bypassing the early stages of neural differentiation, obtaining long-lived culture.

“This model has been tested on stem cells obtained from both healthy people and patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. We have seen similar growth and gene expression.”

A new way to create neural networks can be used not only for a more detailed study nejrofiziologichesky characteristics of the organism, but also to identify biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases at early stages, which in turn, will promote early diagnosis and develop new treatments. Further improvement of the technology experts do not exclude the possibility of creating cells are targets for drugs against neurodegenerative diseases of the brain. And it will speed up the production of medicines.

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