Home pagePress monitoringResearchers grow active mini-brain-networks

Researchers grow active mini-brain-networks

Date: 1.7.2019 

Cerebral organoids are artificially grown, 3D tissue cultures that resemble the human brain. Now, researchers from Japan report functional neural networks derived from these organoids.

Kredit: MethoxyRoxy / Wikimedia Commons.Although the organoids aren't actually "thinking," the researchers' new tool - which detects neural activity using organoids - could provide a method for understanding human brain function.

"Because they can mimic cerebral development, cerebral organoids can be used as a substitute for the human brain to study complex developmental and neurological disorders," says corresponding author Jun Takahashi, a professor at Kyoto University.

However, these studies are challenging, because current cerebral organoids lack desirable supporting structures, such as blood vessels and surrounding tissues, Takahashi says. Since researchers have a limited ability to assess the organoids' neural activities, it has also been difficult to comprehensively evaluate the function of neuronal networks.

"In our study, we created a new functional analysis tool to assess the comprehensive dynamic change of network activity in a detected field, which reflected the activities of over 1,000 cells," says first and co-corresponding author Hideya Sakaguchi, a postdoctoral fellow at Kyoto University (currently at Salk Institute). "The exciting thing about this study is that we were able to detect dynamic changes in the calcium ion activity and visualize comprehensive cell activities."

 


 

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