Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are claiming to have created the first 3D-printed functional human brain tissue.
The researchers published a new study in the scientific journal Cell Stem Cell, and according to the paper, the team created the 3D-printed brain tissue using horizontal layers of "bio-ink" gel. According to the team, the tissue is soft enough to enable neurons to grow through it, yet it is hard enough to keep its structure.
This duality has resulted in the tissue being able to grow cell networks similar to a real human brain, and according to the team, the 3D-printed brain tissue has some advantages over "mini-brain" models that are commonly used to study a human brain.
The advantage of 3D-printed brain tissue is the ability to create almost any type of neuron at any given time, which enables scientists to piece together neurons in any order they like. So, what's the benefit of this? Researchers will be able to create brain tissue in specific ways to measure the impact of neurological diseases. The creation of this technology is reportedly going to assist researchers in understanding how the human brain works and ultimately prevent diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
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