Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have created a new way to engineer nerve structures, or constructs, in culture. This proof-of-principle research has implications for eventually becoming a new method to repair spinal cord injury in humans. Previously, they showed that they could grow axons by placing neurons from rat dorsal root ganglia on nutrient-filled plastic plates. Axons sprouted from the neurons on each plate and connected with neurons on the other plate. The plates were then slowly pulled apart over a series of days, aided by a precise computer-controlled motor system.
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