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EU FET program funds research on 3D neuronal structures mimicking human brain tissue

European Commission's Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) scheme has granted 4 M to an international consortium aiming to construct a functional 3D neuronal structure mimicking the human brain. The project titled "Biomimicking the brain towards 3D neuronal network dynamics" is planned to last for the period 1.7.2012.12.2014.

The project fits well into the FET objectives providing a high risk high payoff challenge and possibility of a major breaktrough in neurotechnology and biohybrid ICT.

The grant enables researchers to demonstrate the validity of an unproven concept by constructing a controlled human 3D neuronal network in a laboratory environment. The neuronal network will be integrated into a 3D sensor system, which will be developed during the project to measure and analyse the constructed neuronal system.

The research team mimics the actual 3D development of a neuronal system with natural stimulation using, for example, simulated human auditory sensory inputs.

The researchers believe that 3D modelling will provide more detailed information on how the human brain, neurons and glial cells work and process information and how neuronal cell models could be constructed.

Safe drug testing and advanced clinical therapies

The 3D integrated model applications will include studies of neuronal disorders and models for developing and testing new medicines effectively and safely. 3D models may also help in developing advanced clinical therapies, such as neuronal cell transplants and neuroprostheses that help, for example, people with hearing disorders.

Contact: Professor Jari Hyttinen, Tampere University of Technology
Tampere University of Technology

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