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Brain Organoid.

  • Edington, Collin.
  • Digital Images
  • Online

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Differentiation of neural progenitor cells following 2 weeks in culture.

This image shows a 'brain organoid' composed of neural progenitor cells that differentiate into different neuronal subtypes when cultured on a coat of synthetic PEG (polyethylene glycol) hydrogel. Driven away from the central cell mass (magenta) by chemical gradients, the neuronal projections (shown in green) project radially, forming intricate networks that cover the entire well surface. The image was taken to investigate how neural stem cells will behave when cultured on a thinly coated PEG hydrogel. The image shows how thousands of neuronal projection can stem from one brain organoid and how mechanical and chemical cues in the cellular microenvironment encourage neural stem cells to structurally organize themselves.

This work supports the 'Human-on-a-chip' project, which is addressing the inefficiency and cost of traditional drug testing. Researchers have devised ways of growing miniature organs on plastic chips, which they hope can be connected to represent the human body. This could be used to accurately predict the effectiveness and toxicity of drugs and vaccines and remove the need for animal testing in animal research.

Confocal micrograph.



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