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Thread: Turn 'Signals' for Neuron Growth Identified

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    Senior Member patecatl's Avatar
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    Turn 'Signals' for Neuron Growth Identified

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 20, 2011) — A new paper scheduled for publication in the January issue of Nature Photonics describes the use of spinning microparticles to direct the growth of nerve fiber, a discovery that could allow for directed growth of neuronal networks on a chip and improve methods for treating spinal or brain injuries.

    The study is based on Mohanty's hypothesis that neurons can respond to physical (e.g. fluid flow) cues in addition to chemical cues. He conducted the seminal work and observed that a laser-driven spinning calcite microparticle could guide the direction of neuron growth. Its rotation caused a shearing effect by creating a microfluidic flow.

    "One can envision large arrays of these devices that can direct large numbers of axons to different locations," the authors wrote. "This may have the potential for use in vivo to direct regenerating axons to mediate brain and spinal cord repair."

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1220102632.htm

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    Looks very interesting.

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