Today I am going to talk about the use of stem cells to create a 3D model of a brain. This has been done in the attempt to understand the development of the brain and neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. In addition to this, a 3D model of the brain can potentially be used to test drugs before they enter their clinical trial stage to see its affects on the brain specifically.
Using a 3D brain is much more beneficial than 2D models. In fact, the very fact of being able to grow and brain out of human cells has been described as a ‘real breakthrough’ which could potentially have a hand in developing an extremely accurate understanding of how the brain works. It also forms the basis for us to create a brain that is functionally realistic, not just structurally realistic to a human brain.
The 3D model was created by Salk Institute researches in a 2013 European study, in which a cerebral organoid model (an organ resembling the brain) was made from both embryonic and stem cells. Then, the cells were placed in a 3D gel that made up the realistic layers of an actual human brain.
—– making a cerebral organoid model.
Cerebral organoid models have been made in laboratories for three years, yet the similarity between them and real brains in terms of cell differentiation and gene expression has only just been discovered. As time goes on and more developments to the model are made, the tissues of these models could even be used as neurological therapies.
Source used: medical news today