Revolutionizing Neurological Research: The Role of 3D Printed Brain Tissue


Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have developed a groundbreaking technique in neurological scientific study by manufacturing the first-ever 3D printed brain tissue which reproduces natural brain functionalities. This innovative method utilises a softer bio-ink and horizontal layering to facilitate the creation of neuron networks that are similar to human brain structures.

Standard 3D printing methodologies, frequently restricted by their inherent limitations, have interrupted advancements in printing brain tissue. The scientific team employed a horizontal layering technique, placing neurons within a soft bio-ink gel, which encourages connections and dialogue among the printed cells. This method offers minute control over type of cells and their configuration, exceeding the abilities of usual brain organoids.

The 3D printed brain tissue, comprising of connected neurons, imitates interactions in the human brain, facilitating the research of different neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This remarkable accomplishment promises to enhance stem cell biology, neuroscience, and comprehension of the origin and development of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Immunostaining for GFP-GCaMP6 and mCherry at day 30 post-printing. (Image Credit: University of Wisconsin–Madison)

The flexibility of this printing technique enables the creation of defined systems to study specific aspects of human brain networks. The researchers envision applications in studying Down syndrome, interactions between healthy and Alzheimer’s-affected tissue, drug testing, and observing brain development. Unlike previous methods, this approach allows a holistic examination of the brain’s networked operations.

The accessibility of this technique makes it available to many labs without requiring specialized equipment or culture methods. The researchers aim to explore further improvements, refining the bio-ink and equipment for on-demand printing of specific brain tissues.

The development of the 3D printed brain tissue marks a pivotal advancement in neurological research, providing unprecedented opportunities for studying brain functions, disorders, and potential treatments.

You can read the full paper, titled “3D bioprinting of human neural tissues with functional connectivity” at this link.

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Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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