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Triangles guide the way for live neural circuits in a dish
Date:7/19/2012

f a single cell and was replicated to form an array which was printed onto a glass surface.

Each of the arrays had an overall size of 1cm-by-1cm with a gap of 10 micrometres between each shape. Hippocampal neurons were taken from rats and plated onto the patterned surfaces. The neurons were fluorescently labelled with dyes so that images could be taken of their growth.

The researchers found that triangles were the most efficient shape to encourage the growth and guidance of an axon. The key to this was the angles at the points where two of the triangle's lines meet, also known as the vertices. It was shown that the smaller the vertices, the higher chance the triangle had of inducing growth.

"Based on our results, we are suggesting a new design principle for guiding axons in a dish. We can control the axonal growth in a certain direction by putting a sharp triangle pointing to a certain direction. Then, a neuron that adhered to the triangle will have an axon in the sharp vertex direction.

"Overall, we integrated microtechnology with neurobiology to find a new engineering solution" continued Professor Nam.


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Contact: Michael Bishop
michael.bishop@iop.org
44-117-930-1032
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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