Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Neuronal cell cultures kept on the straight and narrow

30.05.2006
An improved technique for culturing cells, developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), may enable new, fundamental insights into the behavior of neuronal cells.

Culturing particular types of cells in isolation is a basic technique for measuring how they respond to various stimuli, testing new drugs, and similar cell biology tasks. Neuronal cells, which make up the central nervous system in mammals, are both particularly important and particularly hard to culture. They are highly specialized and choosy about their environment--normally they only survive and develop when cultured on a layer of non-neuronal "glial" cells that provide cellular support services. There are usually far more glial cells than neuronal cells, which makes it hard to image neuronal cells and measure their activity against the glial background.

In a paper in the American Chemical Society’s journal Langmuir*, NIST researchers detail a microfluidics technique to culture neuronal cells in relative isolation on a variety of cell-culture surfaces, and to pattern the cells on the surface to study the effects of geometry on cell development. The trick is to mask the substrate with multiple alternating layers of positively and negatively charged polymers, building up a so-called polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM). Properly selected, the PEM coating convinces the neuronal cells that they’re in a good environment to attach, develop and produce the characteristic neuron projections and synapses, all without a glial layer.

Even better, according to the NIST team, microfluidic channels can be used to lay down the PEM coating in patterned lines just a few micrometers wide. Neuronal cells will largely confine themselves to the pattern, enabling a variety of cell-geometry experiments, such as measuring the maximum gap between lines that can be bridged by neural axons and dendrites.

The research is part of a multidisciplinary NIST program to develop biochemical measurement technologies based on microfluidics.

Michael Baum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Individual Receptors Caught at Work
19.10.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction
19.10.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>