Scientists Have Found a Way to Weld Neurons Using Lasers

By: | February 29th, 2016

Image courtesy uofa.ualberta.ca

Scientists from the University of Alberta have developed a method to weld neurons using ultrashort laser pulses. It is a big breakthrough in the field of neurosciences, and can help in many new medical research and treatment opportunities.

How they managed to do the same:

Neurons are the cells in the nervous system that transfer information between the brain and the body.

To conduct the study, researchers fused two neurons together in a petri dish having the special solution that prevents them from sticking together. Then they delivered Femtosecond laser pulses (each ultrashort pulse occurring every 10-15 seconds) to the meeting point of the two cells.

This results in establishing solid bonds forming a common membrane at the targeted area. It took the neurons just 15 milliseconds to stick to each other. The cells remained viable and the connection strong.

The research team has become the first ever to find a way to bond neurons. This success leads scientists to speculate that they may prove effective at connecting neurons.

Electrical engineering professor Abdul Elezzabi, who is a co-author of the paper said, “You may not be able to go in and treat the human spine with this, but it brings you closer to how these things work.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. You can also find Nidhi on Google+.

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