US scientists have managed to create a mini-brain development processes in vitro. Its structure is almost identical to that of fetal brain to five weeks.
While medical research focuses much of its efforts to find treatments for incurable brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, US researchers hope their work will help the scientific community to advance. In their laboratory, they managed to create a brain in miniature, the size of a pencil eraser.
"Not only it looks like a developed brain, but its different cell types express virtually all genes expressed by those of a brain," says Professor Rene Anand at a conference on military health in the United States. With colleagues at the University of Ohio State, he cultivated this mini-brain in vitro, thus reproducing the structure of the brain of a fetus five weeks, except vascular standpoint.
A very promising potential
This brain development processes in vitro has not been published in a scientific journal, but researchers have created a start-up to market it. Their goal is to help medical research to test experimental treatments more easily. Neuroscience research will also take in its genomic tests using the mini-brains instead of computer models.
"The potential of this model of the brain is very promising for human health because it offers us the best options to test and develop treatments other than with rodents," concludes Professor Anand, quoted by AFP.