Miniature, lab-grown models of the human brain’s wrinkled surface can be used to patch injuries in the brains of living rats and thus repair broken connections in the rodents’ sensory processing systems, a new study shows. Someday, such minibrains — known as brain organoids — could potentially be used to mend the brains of human patients, too, the study authors propose.
“I see this as the first step in developing a new strategy for repairing the brain,” said Dr. Han-Chiao Isaac Chen (opens in new tab), the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Eventually, organoids could be used to restore the brain’s function following a traumatic injury, invasive surgery or stroke, or to help combat the effects of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Chen told Live Science. However, we’re many years away from applying the technology in humans, he said.
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