A team of scientists has developed novel technology promising to increase understanding of how brains develop and offer answers on repairing brains in the wake of neurotrauma and neurodegenerative diseases.
Three-dimensional (3D), submillimeter-scale constructs of neural cells, known as cortical spheroids, are of rapidly growing importance in biological research because these systems reproduce complex features of the brain in vitro. Here, researchers introduce classes of microfabricated 3D frameworks as compliant, multifunctional neural interfaces to spheroids and to assembloids.
Electrical, optical, chemical and thermal interfaces to cortical spheroids demonstrate some of the capabilities. Complex architectures and high-resolution features highlight the design versatility. Detailed studies of the spreading of coordinated bursting events across the surface of an isolated cortical spheroid and of the cascade of processes associated with the formation and regrowth of bridging tissues across a pair of such spheroids represent two of the many opportunities in basic neuroscience research enabled by these platforms.
"As scientists, our goal is to make laboratory research as clinically relevant as possible," investigator. "This 3D platform opens the door to new experiments, discovery, and scientific advances in regenerative neurorehabilitation medicine that have never been possible."
Source: DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf9153