Scientists from Tufts University in Boston have created three-dimensional brain tissue which functions in the same manner and has a similar structure as the brain of a rat. The results are published in the early august online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Tissue Engineering Recourse Center of the Tufts University has developed the brain tissue. According to professor and projectleader David Kaplan, a need exists for new options to understand and treat the neurological disorders that are associated the brain. The 3D brain tissue would meet this need. Chemical and electrical changes in some diseases, traumatic experiences and for instance the treatment of brain dysfunction can be studied in the brain tissue. The tissue can be kept alive for two months.
The researchteam did not develop a complete reconstruction of the brain, but created tissue that has the fundamental physiologic aspects of the brain.
Nowadays, neurons are studied in vitro, but this two-dimensional structure is not suitable to simulate the complicated structure of brain tissue. The research team is planning to further develop the model in order to use the tissue to study different aspects of the brain, like the structure, the development of diseases and the treatment and effect of food and toxines.