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Home > News > Next Generation: Neuronal Monkey Bars: Three-dimensional scaffolds for growing and guiding neurons are getting smaller and more tailored in design.

September 23rd, 2011

Next Generation: Neuronal Monkey Bars: Three-dimensional scaffolds for growing and guiding neurons are getting smaller and more tailored in design.

Abstract:
Using a laser aimed at a polymer called polylactide, researchers have been able to fabricate a 3-D scaffold that's biodegradable, biocompatible, and on a scale that neurons can wrap their arms around. The scaffolds can provide a frame for studying neuronal regeneration in vitro or for repairing lacerated peripheral nerves in vivo.

In one design, Frederik Claeyssens at the University of Sheffield and his colleagues created a scaffold resembling a set of monkey bars with gaps between the rungs of 10 to 20 micrometers. They found that neurons attached to the bars and extended neurites along them, according to the report published this week in Biofabrication.

The laser works by "writing" a structure into a material. In this case, the material hardens when the four arms of the polylactide are crosslinked by photocuring from the laser. The excess material that has not been hardened is washed away, leaving the 3-D structure behind.

Source:
the-scientist.com

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