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Monday 19 November 2012

A Brain-On-A-Chip

Sounds Interesting !!!!!

The idea is to devise a “micro-environment’’ that mimics the human brain. Researchers hope to study neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and concussions. The eventual goal is to study the effects of drugs and vaccines on the brain.

Draper, a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and USF are using embryonic cells from rats, but researchers plan to use human cells in the future. The brain-on-a-chip combines several technologies, including an emerging field called microfluidics.

Microfluidics deals with the control of fluids in devices. Tiny chip-like devices using microfluidics are used in many applications, such as cell sorting and detection, gene analysis, inkjet print heads, lab-on-a-chip units and point-of-care diagnostic tools. Meanwhile, lab-on-a-chip, and a related field, organ-on-a-chip (i.e. brain-on-a-chip), are systems that integrate various functions in a chip-like format. Some, but not all, lab-on-a-chip systems use microfluidics.


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