Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New technology facilitates studies of brain cells in stroke

22.03.2010
A mini-laboratory that makes it possible, among other things, to study how brain cells in stroke patients are affected by lack of oxygen is being developed by a research team at Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in Sweden.

Lab on a Chip is what the scientists are calling their mini-lab, which is expected to facilitate studies of all sorts of biological cells and how they are affected by different medicines, chemical substances, etc.

The researchers in medical technology at Luleå University of Technology have wind in their sails. New technological solutions are needed to help meet Europe's rapidly growing needs for healthcare.

The development of the mini-lab Lab on a Chip is one of 22 projects being pursued within the framework of the Center for Medical Technology and Physics, CMTF, a joint initiative involving Luleå University of Technology and Umeå University.

Professor Olof Lindahl and his research associate Kerstin Ramser in Luleå are developing a so-called micro-flow system to study, for instance, how the vital oxygen-bearing protein neuroglobin, which is found in brain cells, is affected by the lack of oxygen that occurs in stroke.

Neuroglobin was discovered in 2000 by a German research team and occurs primarily in brain cells. Overproduction of neuroglobin in the brains of mice has been shown to mitigate the consequences of damage relating to oxygen deficiency in stroke.

"Today there are no really good methods for studying how individual cells signal under oxygen-poor conditions," says Kerstin Ramser. "One advantage of the new technology we use is that it is now possible to select and isolate specific cells in a controlled environment."

The Lab on a Chip that the Luleå researchers have produced measures 2 X 6 cm and fits on the specimen glass of a microscope. This makes it possible to reduce the size of the sample, in blood analysis, for example.

"What we are studying is the electrophysiological activity of brain cells, that is, their capacity to communicate with other cells under oxygen-poor and entirely oxygen-free conditions," says Kerstin Ramser.

To be able to study how brain cells are affected by stroke, researchers pump fluids with varying levels of oxygen content into channels in the mini-lab. The channels are extremely small, corresponding to one third of the thickness of a hair. Once the fluid has been pumped into the system, the cell sample is introduced. With the help of optical tweezers, which use laser beams to capture and move cells, the scientists can select and isolate a specific cell in order to study how it behaves in various oxygen mixtures.

"Enhance the quality of care today is largely a matter of developing new technologies that help us advance our knowledge of the major diseases, such as cancer, stroke, or Parkinson's," says Kerstin Ramser.

There are some 8 professors and 20-25 researchers in the field of medical technology at Luleå University of Technology today. Much of the medical technology research conducted at Luleå University of Technology is done together with researchers from Umeå University in an interdisciplinary collaboration where Luleå provides the technological expertise and Umeå the medical competence.

The research center CMTF involves not only the two universities but also the Norrbotten and Västerbotten County Councils, companies, and researchers from Sweden, Japan, Germany, Spain, and other countries. They develop products and services for more secure healthcare.

Their work is partly funded by EU Goal2. A researcher-owned company for developing businesses, financed by the County Administrations, Innovation Bridge North, LTU Holding, Uminova Innovation, and the parties involved, is tied to the Center.

Contact: Professor Olof Lindahl, mobile phone: +46 (0)70 6060 04 14, olof.lindahl@ltu.se or Associate Professor Kerstin Ramser, phone: +46 (0)920 - 49 16 48, kerstin.ramser@ltu.se

Pressofficer Åsa Svedjeholm; Asa.Svedjeholm@ltu.se; +46-703 39 16 28

Åsa Svedjeholm | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

nachricht Snap, Digest, Respire
20.01.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bodyguards in the gut have a chemical weapon

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet

20.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Treated carbon pulls radioactive elements from water

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>