Navigation Links
'Lab on a chip' mimics brain chemistry

Johns Hopkins researchers from the Whiting School of Engineering and the School of Medicine have devised a micro-scale tool - a lab on a chip - designed to mimic the chemical complexities of the brain. The system should help scientists better understand how nerve cells in the brain work together to form the nervous system.

A report on the work appears as the cover story in the February 2008 issue of the British journal Lab on a Chip.

The chip weve developed will make experiments on nerve cells more simple to conduct and to control, says Andre Levchenko, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and faculty affiliate of the Institute for NanoBioTechnology.

Nerve cells decide which direction to grow by sensing both the chemical cues flowing through their environment as well as those attached to the surfaces that surround them. The chip, which is made of a plastic-like substance and covered with a glass lid, features a system of channels and wells that allow researchers to control the flow of specific chemical cocktails around single nerve cells.

It is difficult to establish ideal experimental conditions to study how neurons react to growth signals because so much is happening at once that sorting out nerve cell connections is hard, but the chip, designed by experts in both brain chemistry and engineering, offers a sophisticated way to sort things out, says Guo-li Ming, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Institute for Cell Engineering.

In experiments with their chip, the researchers put single nerve cells, or neurons, onto the chip then introduced specific growth signals (in the form of chemicals). They found that the growing neurons turned and grew toward higher concentrations of certain chemical cues attached to the chips surfaces, as well as to signaling molecules free-flowing in solution.

When researchers subjected the neurons to conflicting signals (both surface bound and cues in solution), they found that the cells turned randomly, suggesting that cells do not choose one signal over the other. This, according to Levchenko, supports the prevailing theory that one cue can elicit different responses depending on a cells surroundings.

The ability to combine several different stimuli in the chip resembles a more realistic environment that nerve cells will encounter in the living animal, Ming says. This in turn will make future studies on the role of neuronal cells in development and regeneration more accurate and complete.


Contact: Mary Spiro
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Related medicine news :

1. AOA President Calls on Congress to Reauthorize SCHIP and Take Action to Ensure Health Care Coverage for All Americans
2. Pelosi: SCHIP Bill a Giant Step for Americas Children
3. Childrens Hospitals in Washington to Lobby Congress to Reauthorize SCHIP Now
4. Governor Rendell Announces CHIP Enrollment Clinics at Several Rite Aid Stores
5. Center for Health Transformation Founder Newt Gingrich Calls on Congress to Pass a Clean SCHIP Six-Month Extension
6. Gene chip data improved therapy in some patients with incurable cancer
7. Deep concern and disappointment with exclusion of Medicare from SCHIP legislation
8. Gene Chip Data Can Boost Cancer Outcomes
9. Statement by Robert Greenstein, Executive Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, on the New Congressional SCHIP Agreement
10. APHA Urges President Bush to Reconsider Unfounded Basis for SCHIP Veto
11. Statement on House/Senate Agreement on SCHIP Legislation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... and hematology continuing medical education (CME), today announced that the first annual School ... New York. , “The prevention, detection and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers are undergoing ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Growth in medical ... due to decreases in utilization of hospital and nonhospital care, according to a recent ... Medical Benchmarks for Louisiana, 16th Edition , found medical payments per claim with more ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... images have been lifted as IMAGE Information Systems launches MED-TAB™ -- the world’s ... America Annual Meeting from November 29 to December 4, 2015. , MED-TAB ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Inc. (“Visage”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has ... the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting through December 3 ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... clinical solutions for the care management and population health arenas, is pleased to ... clinical and cost containment services, has successfully implemented the ACUITY Complete Care™ Management ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 2, 2015  A combination of detailed ... the first time in the surgical planning for separation of ... annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North ... --> Conjoined twins, or twins whose bodies are connected, ... rates are low and separating them through surgery is extremely ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  A large study ... drug tamoxifen while taking an antidepressant found no increased ... today in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute. ... Tamoxifen is a commonly prescribed generic drug taken by ... developing a recurrence. Tamoxifen is recommended for five years, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Wash. and VANCOUVER , ... Committee (DMC) meeting, OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: OGXI ... is continuing based on the pre-planned interim futility analysis ... review, no new safety issues were identified by the ... all analyses and final results are expected in the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: