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Brain tissue kept alive for 25 days

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When examining the tissues of a body in the laboratory, it is necessary to detach them from the body itself and place them in a liquid culture so that they remain “alive” for a few hours or at most for a few days. However, the tissue can easily dry out, “drown” in the liquid itself or otherwise be damaged and is no longer suitable for experimentation. This is all the more true for brain tissue, which is even more sensitive than other tissues.

Now, a research group at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research has published an interesting new study on analytical sciences.

The researchers claim to have developed a new system that uses a new microfluidic device to prevent the tissue itself from drying out and becoming damaged. This system has already been tested by researchers on mouse brain tissue that is still viable after one month in culture. This period is much longer than other methods of tissue culture, at least on average.

The microfluidic device used by the researchers is based on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a material already used as an antifoam agent in various drugs. In this system, instead of always immersing the tissue in the liquid, the tissue can benefit from the culture medium circulating within a microchannel through a permeable membrane. Essentially, a correct gas exchange was achieved and thus a longer resistance of the tissue to biodegradable substances was achieved.

With this system, they cultivated in the laboratory tissues from the suprachiasmatic nucleus, an area of the hypothalamus, the brain of mice. These tissues remained alive in laboratory culture for more than 25 days: The researchers were able to verify this by measuring their bioluminescence, values that indicated that they were still functional and had circadian activity.

In conventional culture, the neuronal activity of these tissues decreases after only 10 hours instead of 6%.

LINKS AND SOURCES

https://www.riken.jp/en/news_pubs/research_news/2019/20191010_1/index.html

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/analsci/35/10/35_19P099/_article

IMAGE CREDIT

https://www.sciencenews.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/081719_brain_feat_opt1_1440x700.jpg

Jane Baker

An established and well-respected journalist, Jane worked for The Pueblo Chieftain (chieftain.com) as an editor for many years and holds an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time she enjoys motorcycling, hiking and reading. She is largely responsible for assisting with research and writing new stories relating to new medical research.

1387 Berry Street, Saguache Colorado, 81149
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Jane Baker
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Health and Medicine

New blood collection robot uses artificial intelligence to detect veins

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A new tabletop robot to draw blood or insert catheters to deliver drugs and fluids was created by a group of engineers at Rutgers University. According to the press release, this robot uses artificial intelligence and infrared and ultrasound imaging technologies to guide needles or catheters with extreme precision into even the smallest blood vessels with minimal human supervision.

The new robot, described in a study published in Nature Machine Intelligence, arrives in a sector, that of blood sampling or the introduction of medicines into the blood itself, which is revolutionizing in recent years thanks to the advent of robotics and artificial intelligence.
Today, these robots can perform fairly complex medical tasks and can improve the results of procedures.

The new robot has already been tested on animals and volunteers and has proven to be able to accurately identify even the smallest blood vessels, which in itself improves the success rates and the total time of the procedure, even for the most experienced professionals, as explained by Martin L. Yarmush, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers and senior author of the study.

One of the most difficult steps when it comes to taking blood or putting medication into the blood itself is to detect the veins and arteries. Very often even the most experienced health care professionals fail at the first attempt (or even at the next attempt) because the blood vessels can be small, twisted, collapsed on themselves, etc., situations that are even more present in chronically ill or traumatized people.

Very often at least five attempts are necessary, which delays treatment and is certainly not appreciated by the patient himself.
In addition, multiple attempts can perforate larger arteries than nerves or adjacent internal organs, which naturally increases the risk of complications.

Instead, this new robot or guide the lake or catheter precisely by identifying, through ultrasound imaging and using artificial intelligence, the blood vessels, distinguishing them from the surrounding tissue and classifying and estimating them by depth and level of adaptation to the operation.

“Not only can the device be used for patients, but it can also be modified to draw blood from rodents, a procedure that is extremely important for animal drug testing in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries,” Yarmush himself reports.

Jane Baker

An established and well-respected journalist, Jane worked for The Pueblo Chieftain (chieftain.com) as an editor for many years and holds an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time she enjoys motorcycling, hiking and reading. She is largely responsible for assisting with research and writing new stories relating to new medical research.

1387 Berry Street, Saguache Colorado, 81149
719-655-0938
[email protected]
Jane Baker
Continue Reading

Health and Medicine

Diabetes: scientists discover new therapeutic options to limit collateral damage caused by insulin

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A protein that can act as a regulator of blood sugar and lipids under certain conditions has been identified by a group of researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE). The protein, called S100A9, could counteract the side effects of insulin administered to diabetics.

The study published in Nature Communications mentions what a new treatment for diabetes and in general a significant improvement in the quality of life of tens of millions of people could be. In fact, millions of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have to resort to insulin injections. Overdose can cause hypoglycemia, a drop in blood glucose levels, while underdose can lead to dangerous hyperglycemia.

In experiments on mice, scientists found that the administration of S100A9 to insulin-deficient diabetic rats led to better glucose management and better control of ketones and lipids. They then discovered that this protein appears to work only when there is TLR4, a receptor placed on the membrane of certain cells, including adipocytes and immune system cells.

Now Roberto Coppari, one of the authors of the study together with Giorgio Ramadori, and his team want to understand the function of the protein S100A9. In this context, they are developing a new treatment that combines low doses of insulin and S100A9 to understand whether it is possible to better control glucose and ketones and limit the same negative side effect of insulin.

“We also want to decipher the exact role of TLR4 to offer a therapeutic strategy that achieves the delicate balance between blood sugar, ketones and optimal lipid control,” explains Coppari himself in the press release.

LINKS AND SOURCES

https://www.unige.ch/communication/communiques/en/2019/diabete-des-traitements-de-nouvelle-generation-bientot-disponibles/

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-11498-x

IMAGE CREDIT

https://www.franciscanhealth.org/sites/default/files/2015/10/20/hero-diabetes-managemetn-tools-and-veggies.jpg

Jane Baker

An established and well-respected journalist, Jane worked for The Pueblo Chieftain (chieftain.com) as an editor for many years and holds an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time she enjoys motorcycling, hiking and reading. She is largely responsible for assisting with research and writing new stories relating to new medical research.

1387 Berry Street, Saguache Colorado, 81149
719-655-0938
[email protected]
Jane Baker
Continue Reading

Health and Medicine

Children of mothers who have taken snus during pregnancy show higher blood pressure.

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A research team found that children between the ages of five and six whose mothers had used snus during pregnancy had higher systolic blood pressure. The new study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Snus is a moist powdered tobacco for oral use that was banned in the European Union as early as 1992 after World Health Organization studies found it to be carcinogenic. However, this tobacco is very popular in some countries, such as Sweden, and is still available in the United States (although it is currently processed by the FDA in that country).

The snus is placed between the gums and the upper lip and essentially provides nicotine. The advantage of using such tobacco would be that it does not include the by-products of burning classic cigarettes. Another advantage is that it is not necessary to spit, as is the case with most common chewing tobacco cards.

This study shows that the intake of nicotine during pregnancy, whether from cigarettes, chewing tobacco or snus, is not safe and can have negative effects on the unborn child, as Felicia Nordenstam, a paediatric cardiologist at the Karolinska Institute University Hospital in Stockholm and lead author of the study, explains.

The researcher analyzed data from children born to 21 women who used only snus during pregnancy and compared it with data from 19 children whose mothers did not consume tobacco products during pregnancy.

Researchers found that systolic blood pressure in children in the first group was 4.2 mmHg higher than in children in the second group.

LINKS AND SOURCES

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-10-children-higher-blood-pressure-age.html

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.012629

IMAGE CREDIT

https://images.newscientist.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/14161245/e2d3ay.jpg

Jane Baker

An established and well-respected journalist, Jane worked for The Pueblo Chieftain (chieftain.com) as an editor for many years and holds an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Northern Colorado. In her free time she enjoys motorcycling, hiking and reading. She is largely responsible for assisting with research and writing new stories relating to new medical research.

1387 Berry Street, Saguache Colorado, 81149
719-655-0938
[email protected]
Jane Baker
Continue Reading

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