Washington, Aug 12 :
In a first, bio-engineers have created a functional 3D brain-like tissue similar to the tissue in rat brain and which can be kept alive in the lab for more than a month.
The tissue could provide a superior model for studying normal brain function as well as injury and disease, and could assist in the development of new treatments for brain dysfunction.
The key to generating the brain-like tissue was the creation of a novel composite structure — a spongy scaffold made out of silk protein and a softer collagen-based gel.
The scaffold served as a structure onto which neurons could anchor themselves, and the gel encouraged axons to grow through it.
Over a period of several weeks, researchers conducted experiments to determine the health and function of the neurons growing in their 3D brain-like tissue.