A nanogel that crosses the electroencephalic barrier can grow neurons for the treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
In a recent study, researchers were able to cross the electroencephalic barrier by introducing a new nanogel, which grew neurons within the gel in animal models.
According to the study, published in Investigación y Desarrollo, a nanogel is a biocompatible material injected into the brain. Through external excitation, the gel allows spontaneous growth of neurons.
"We wanted to improve and advance the generation of biomaterials for regenerating brain tissue. During the experiments we crossed the electroencephalic barrier that keeps the brain isolated from the body; by crossing it, we were allowed to introduce the nanogel and for it to act without harming the body. We watched how, within the gel, neurons began to grow; this wouldn't have been possible in any other way,” said Dr. Victor Castaño, from Centre of Applied Physics and Advanced Technology of the National University of Mexico. "Also, with the help of lase tweezers we took two light phases and stimulated the neuron as if we were pulling it and putting it to exercise, this gave us favorable results in increased neuronal tissue.”
Researchers believe this nanogel could be used to treat patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well as during brain scans to improve the visibility of the brain.
"The ability to offer alternatives to diseases that currently don't have a cure and it being with Mexican technology has great impact and is of great value; however, we must work in a transdisciplinary way to allow scientific and technological advances,” concluded Dr. Castaño.