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Scientists from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering are hoping to use rat neurons to track brain injury recovery. The tissue simulation lasts much longer than previous lab tissues and will help researchers understand how the brain reacts to impacts.
By combining rat neurons with a silk protein scaffold and collagen-based gel, scientists have created a brain-like tissue that can live for 9 weeks. The tissue reacts much like a human brain when subjected to injury.
The scientists dropped weights on the tissue from different heights. The tissue emitted a neurotransmitter called “chemical glutamate,” which is known to be released by the brain after a traumatic brain injury. The tissue also changed its electrical and chemical activity, similar to what researchers observe in similar animal studies.
Because the tissue can survive for up to 9 weeks, it not only reacts to the initial injury, but begins the recovery process. Senior author, David Kaplan, chair of biomedical engineering at Tufts School of Engineering, explains:
“The fact that we can maintain this tissue for months in the lab means we can start to look at neurological diseases in ways that you can’t otherwise because you need long timeframes to study some of the key brain diseases.”
It will allow scientists to track tissue response over time and track repairs that happen inside the brain.
The tissue structure and its uses could be a key for doctors treating brain injury patients. By better understanding what happens in the brain chemically and electrically, they will be able to help patients recover faster.
When you have suffered a traumatic brain injury you need the best in care, treatment, and representation. The brain injury experts at Christensen Law have worked for decades protecting the rights of accident victims who suffer from TBI. They understand the injury and your needs and can help you connect with the right medical professionals. If someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of an auto accident, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.