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 Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Chips, light and coding moves the front line in beating bacteria
16.08.2018 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate 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: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>