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3D-printed tissues using stem cells may offer repair for brain injuries

Date: 6.10.2023 

Researchers have used human neural stem cells to 3D print functional brain tissue that mimics the architecture of the cerebral cortex, the brain’s outermost layer. The breakthrough technique has the potential to provide individualized repairs to brain injuries.

Kredit: Yongcheng Jin/University of Oxford.Our brains have a delicate and complex architecture that can be damaged by trauma, stroke, epilepsy, and tumor-removal surgery, leading to difficulties with communication, movement, and cognition. Implanted stem cells have the potential to regrow damaged brain tissue, but until now, it’s proven difficult to recreate the brain’s architecture using the cells.

In a new study, researchers from the University of Oxford fabricated a two-layered brain tissue by 3D printing human neural stem cells that, when implanted into mouse brain tissue, integrated with it both structurally and functionally.

“Our droplet printing technique provides a means to engineer living 3D tissues with desired architectures, which brings us closer to the creation of personalized implantation treatments for brain injury,” said Linna Zhou, one of the study’s corresponding authors.

“This advance marks a significant step towards the fabrication of materials with the full structure and function of natural brain tissues,” said Yongcheng Jin, lead author of the study. “The work will provide a unique opportunity to explore the workings of the human cortex and, in the long term, it will offer hope to individuals who sustain brain injuries.”

Image source: Yongcheng Jin/University of Oxford.





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