Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists light a path for new nerve cells

23.03.2004


Molly S. Shoichet
Associate Professor Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts)
Credits: U of Toronto


System for guiding cell migration, adhesion has biomedical and regenerative medical applications

Scientists at the University of Toronto are taking regenerative medicine to a new dimension with a process for guiding nerve cells that could someday help reconnect severed nerve endings.

Molly Shoichet, a professor of chemical engineering and applied chemistry at the Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), has devised a new method that helps guide cell migration and adhesion. "We’re very interested in using this system for biomedical applications and regenerative medicine, specifically for guiding nerve cells," says Shoichet, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering.



In the study, Shoichet and doctoral student Ying Luo combined a gel-like substance called agarose with compounds having "photolabile" properties that change chemically when exposed to light. When they directed laser light at the gel, its chemical composition changed, creating a "channel" through the gel. Although not a physical channel, the interaction created a "growth-friendly" chemical pathway through the agarose.

Luo then placed neural cells at the opening of the channels. She and Shoichet found that the cells migrate into and through the channels, filling the pathways rather than clinging to the periphery. "Our findings have important implications for guiding where cells go and providing a greater surface area for the neural stimuli to be transmitted," she says. Shoichet adds that it is not yet known whether this will lead to stronger signals passing through regenerated nerves.

"This is the first example of doing 3-D patterning with this type of gel material and is applicable to transparent materials," says Shoichet. While previous techniques have created three-dimensional gel structures, they involved a time-consuming layering process.

The study, which appears in the March 21 advanced online publication of the journal Nature Materials, was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and a Connaught Fellowship.

Nicolle Wahl | University of Toronto
Further information:
http://www.news.utoronto.ca/bin5/040323a.asp

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea
10.12.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique
10.12.2018 | Carnegie Mellon University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

New method gives microscope a boost in resolution

10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>