Stem Cells help Scientists understand Neurological Disabilities:

 In Stem Cell News

Scientists have been able to create tiny brains from stem cells in an effort to understand more about brain development and inherited neurological disorders.

The scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) say the newly created tissue could be the start of developing model systems for the human brain.

Dr. Jürgen Knoblich who is the lead study author, from the IMBA, explains the process:

“We modified an established approach to generate so-called neuroectoderm, a cell layer from which the nervous system derives. Fragments of this tissue were then maintained in a 3D-culture and embedded in droplets of a specific gel that provided a scaffold for complex tissue growth.”

“In order to enhance nutrient absorption, we later transferred the gel droplets to a spinning bioreactor. Within 3 to 4 weeks, defined brain regions were formed.”

Neuroscientists have described the work as astounding and fascinating! The study, published in the journal Nature, has already been used to gain insight into rare diseases.

The next goal for the team of scientists is to model a more complex developmental disorder such as autism or schizophrenia.

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