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NYSCF scientists develop 3-D stem cell culture technique to better understand Alzheimer's disease
Date:4/2/2013

NEW YORK, NY (March 25, 2013) A team of researchers at The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute led by Scott Noggle, PhD, Director of the NYSCF Laboratory and the NYSCF Charles Evans Senior Research Fellow for Alzheimer's Disease, and Michael W. Nestor, PhD, a NYSCF Postdoctoral Research Fellow, has developed a technique to produce three-dimensional cultures of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells called embryoid bodies, amenable to live cell imaging and to electrical activity measurement. As reported in their Stem Cell Research study, these cell aggregates enable scientists to both model and to study diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

The NYSCF Alzheimer's disease research team aims to better understand and to find treatments to this disease through stem cell research. For such disorders in which neurons misfire or degenerate, the NYSCF team creates "disease in a dish" models by reprogramming patients' skin and or blood samples into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that can become neurons and the other brain cells affected in the diseases.

The cells in our body form three-dimensional networks, essential to tissue function and overall health; however, previous techniques to form complex brain tissue resulted in structures that, while similar in form to naturally occurring neurons, undermined imaging or electrical recording attempts.

In the current study, the Noggle and Nestor with NYSCF scientists specially adapted two-dimensional culture methods to grow three-dimensional neuron structures from iPS cells. The resultant neurons were "thinned-out," enabling calcium-imaging studies, which measure the electrical activity of cells like neurons.

"Combining the advantages of iPS cells grown in a 3D environment with those of a 2D system, our technique produces cells that can be used to observe electrical activity of putative networks of biologically active neurons, while simultaneously i
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Contact: David McKeon
dmckeon@nyscf.org
212-365-7440
New York Stem Cell Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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