Could Lab-grown Brain Tissue Replace Animal Models for Injury?
19 Mar 2014
Bioengineers have created 3D brain-like tissue in the lab and kept it alive for more than two months.
The tissue, which exhibited electrical activity, is derived from rat neurons left to multiply on a special scaffold developed by a team from the Tissue Engineering Resource Centre at Tufts University, Boston. Although the resulting material only exhibited certain characteristics of brain matter, it's worth remembering the brain is by far one of the most difficult organs to even begin engineering, considering how little we still understand about it. In the interim, we've been able to engineer blood vessels and  tiny livers, and one team thinks it can bioprint a heart within a decade. This could be an opportunity, though, to learn much more.