There's been a method developed that will allow scientists to create a "3D brain-on-a-chip." This will not only allow researchers the chance to study the brain more thoroughly, but it will also help to develop a better understanding of how brain cells react to different medications in a real life setting. This could help on almost all kinds of medications, according to Science News Journal.
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3D cell culturing isn't anything new or revolutionary at this point because it has been used in neuroscience. The culturing takes places in two-dimensions, typically in a petri dish. However, Bart Schurink, a researcher at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, recently create a way in which to grow 3D cells on a chip.
Schurink measured electrical signals and placed a microreactor on top. When he did this, he found that cells could also be grown on a vertical axis as well as a horizontal axis. The process includes using a special "sieve" that contains 900 inverted pyramid openings that enable the 3D network to grow. It will give more accurate data for studying the effect of all medicine on the brain and brain cells. It will take some collaboration, especially between the NanoLab and the neurology wings in order for the study to be a success.
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So far there has been quite a bit of testing done using living brain cells from lab rats. Of course, we will need to expand that research in order to truly get results that we can use. Still, it will provide a new way to analyze not only medicine, but the effects of diseases on the brain and how to treat them more effectively.