Scientists have unveiled a new low-cost system where organelles can be grown. Researchers have already received a mini-human brain in it.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai have grown a small amount of self-organizing brain tissue in a tiny 3D-printed system. It allows you to watch their growth and development.
Researchers usually use a technology known as microfluidics – the culture medium is delivered through small tubes connected to a tiny platform or chip. These microfluidic devices are expensive and difficult to manufacture.
The modern technique uses 3D printing to create a reusable and highly customizable platform that costs only $5. The design includes pits to visualize growing organelles and microfluidic channels to provide a nutrient medium and heat to support tissue growth.
The scientists used a biocompatible type of resin that is used in dental surgery. “The cost of our development is significantly lower than the cost of traditional Petri dishes or organoid culture products based on bioreactors,” said study author Ikram Khan. “In addition, the chip can be washed with distilled water, dried, and reused.”
The researchers tested their device on organelles derived from human cells. They observed the growing brain organelles under a microscope – its development lasted for seven days. In a small area of brain tissue, a cavity has formed, surrounded by a self-organizing structure, reminiscent of the developing neocortex system.
The percentage of cells in the nucleus of the organoid that died during that week was less than under normal conditions. Researchers believe their device protects the tiny brain.